In 2010, Icelandic designer Petra Valdimarsdóttir had a photography assignment for a Chinese fish export company. In between photographing fish products, Valdimarsdóttir started fantasising about a project on the factories themselves, and the people working in them. "I was mesmerised by the factories' aesthetic," she tells GUP.
When she received a grant a year later, she took the chance to return to China. The result is an intriguing series on the fish factories that fascinated her so much. The photographs are both empty and full. The endless repetition of simple architecture and the 'clean' light colours make the spaces in the images look wide, with almost nothing in them. On the other hand, the repetition also hides the fact that the photographs are full: when the viewer sees factory worker after factory worker behind similar looking piles of fish, this sameness in the eyes of the viewer becomes one endless stream. Instead of many seperate people and objects, the viewer sees a 'sea' of fish and people.
Petra Valdimarsdóttir studied interactive design in Arnhem and works as a graphic designer and artist in New York, Berlin and Rotterdam. The series Factory Living also appeared as a newspaper, designed by Valdimarsdóttir, which can be viewed and ordered on her website.