The work “Made in China” demonstrates the class issue in the luxury consumption of a socialist country. I download and print pictures of some luxury goods and common merchandise owned by Chinese women I often see on social media from luxury websites, common commercial websites, and websites selling second-hand luxury goods. As can be seen in the work, we cannot distinguish luxury goods from daily necessities any more than we can tell the identity of a woman dressed in common clothes but carrying a Chanel handbag.
The market of luxury goods is concomitant with the phenomenon of stratification of classes. That is, where there is stratification of classes, there is the consumption of luxury goods. I wonder whether, with such consumption, the prosperity of a socialist country is just economic bubble; whether we should be warned against this excessive materialism, the remarkable luxury consumption outstripping even capitalist countries; whether these goods are utilized as a tool to publicize economic success.
Luxury consumption of this kind covers the class issue and meanwhile enlarges the class discrepancy. Jean Baudrillard mentions in The Society of Consumption that in socialist countries people can also witness that “the revolution of bourgeoisie” (révolution Bourgeoise) is replacing the socio-political revolution; the real equality transformed into the equality of other salient signals including objects (l’Object) and other social achievements and happiness. The prosperity brought by these luxury goods replaces the real social problem: “demonstration is prosperity; prosperity is democracy”.