Guillaume Lemarchal

Interview with Guillaume Lemarchal on Fine Art TV


City rhythms

The light advanced across the river, picking out the paper flowers that covered its back like garlands discarded by the admirers of these sailors. Every night in Shanghai  those Chinese too poor to pay for the burial of their relatives would launch the bodies from the funeral piers at Nantao, decking the coffins with paper flowers. Carried away on one tide, they came back on the next, returning to the waterfront of Shanghai with all the other debris abandoned by the city. Meadows of paper flowers drifted on the running tide, and clumped in miniature floating gardens around the old men and women, the young men and women, the young mothers and babies, whose swollen bodies seemed to have been fed during the night by the patient Yangtze.

J.G. Ballard, Empire of the Sun (London: Granada Publishing, 1985), pp. 40-41.