'Garbage man' builds vintage collection in Nanjing

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-09-04 09:00
Some of the objects from decades ago that Wan Jun collects in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu province, Aug 29, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

Wan Jun, born in the late 1970s in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu province, calls himself a "garbage man", for he has collected more than 10,000 discarded vintage and antique objects in the past 11 years.

Starting from 2011, Wang, quit his job as a advertising planner making 100,000 yuan ($14,671) a year, and devoted all his time to searching for and collecting old objects found in flea markets and demolition sites. Sometimes, he even took furniture that turned out to be from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to Hangzhou and Dongyang in Jiangsu's neighboring Zhejiang province, for repair.

When Nanjing old town was facing demolition, he often went to the sites to dig out whatever he found valuable, especially door plates from buildings in old alleys and streets.

"These plates are the symbols of Nanjing, you simply cannot find them elsewhere," Wan said.

Wan finds beauty in ordinary old objects. "What is a city's symbol? It's the core of the city, it's the history and culture that lie within the old objects," Wan explained.

It's Wan's hope that one day there could be an open "culture salon" in Nanjing for these cultural and historical symbols and memories to be seen by the general public.

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