Wei works in a factory in Yiwu, eastern China, coating polystyrene snowflakes with red powder. He wears a Christmas hat to protect his hair, and goes through at least six face masks a day.
According to the Chinese government press agency, 600 factories in Yiwu produce around 60 percent of the world’s Christmas decorations. The factories are staffed largely by migrant laborers, who work 12-hour days for between 270 and 400 euros a month. Wei, who comes from rural Guizhou, 1,500 kilometers away, is not entirely sure what Christmas is, but thinks that it is a foreigners’ form of Chinese New Year.
I saw that award winning photo at the 58th World Press Photo contest exhibition in London.