This is the most strange book about design and lifestyle. In China, the objects used for sitting are as manifold as the occasions for sitting. They are not elegant, and not always comfortable. But neither are they mass-produced items: they are individuals. Each chair and stool has its own character, is a companion, a bastard, or a venerable elder. Their occupants sit close to the floor, without the pressure of time, watching the world go by in self-observation. However, a photographer trying to document such a scene quickly becomes the focus of attention. People passing by wonder what is going on; the person on the chair assumes a pose, though the intent was to catch him or her unawares. Michael Wolf's photographs document the beauty of the ugly, the stretching of time, the art of improvisation, and the nature of the stool as a portrait of its user. Sometimes, a photographed chair was immediately confiscated: having lost its anonymity by being singled out as a noteworthy object, it rather became an object of embarrassment - too shoddy to ever get again into a camera's viewfinder.