For most of us, the name “Toy Story” is synonymous with the childhood tale that taught us the values of loyalty, friendship, and teamwork. For Michael Wolf, the name means so much more. It began when he bought a sack (approx. 600) of second hand toys for his son and realized all of them said “Made in China.” Michael, a photographer based in Hong Kong, then paid a visit to five different toy factories in mainland China, where 75% of the world’s toys are made. He photographed various factory workers. The average monthly salary for a migrant worker in 2010, including overtime, was CNY 1,690 (UK £150 / US $240). An amount insufficient in covering basic needs for workers and their families. Entitled “The REAL Toy Story”, the series features Michael venturing behind the scenes for a look at the people who bring our toys to life and the conditions they are subjected to. The final installation featured walls covered in toys solely made in china, which Michael spent four weeks collecting, with portraits of the factory workers juxtaposed amongst them.
You can view the collection in full here: http://photomichaelwolf.com/#the-real-toy-story-the-installation/1