In mechanics, “stress” is a physical quantity. Specifically, it measures the forces that particles of a body exert on one another. Through continuous exposure to mechanical stress, a material will eventually reach its breaking point. In the series Internal Stress, the photographer Qiu Yang portrays different kinds of Chinese-produced plastics, focusing on the visualization of their stress level. While plastic remains one of China’s biggest export commodities, and is found in numerous products around the world, Yang renders this material as a symbol of contemporary China—a high-pressure state, concealing signs of both social and economic stress. —VICE Staff
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.