When one reaches a bottleneck in life, looking back may be the way forward. 

Red Flowers is a tribute to Shi Chenbai’s fond childhood memories of the sprawling “3507” factory compound in Xi’an, China, where his grandmother’s family lived. In the eyes of a child, it resembled a mythical sanctuary at the furthermost reaches of the city where people in their yards always looked relaxed and often gathered for endless topics of conversation.

Years later as an adult, he often revisited this familiar haunt to feel the lingering warmth of the past, knowing that this site will one day face the inevitable fate of demolition. The more he explored the compound and ventured into each person’s home, the more he felt a strong sense of faith and ideals which moved and awed him. Every conversation and interaction became a symbolic and undescribable experience, revealing numerous absurdities hidden under the veneer of seriousness.

The factories and residents within, like red flowers, shall testify to the enduring spirit of a vibrant era, even when they no longer have a place in memory.

Curated by He Yining