Tan Huan was a hard worker. He had come to Hefei a few months earlier from his village in rural Anhui province, where he had been a watermelon and pig farmer, with a satisfying side gig making sculptures out of preserved watermelon rinds which he sold to galleries in Hong Kong at 6rmb/kilo.
He thought he would try his chances in the big city. Hefei!
It hadn’t worked out so well though. His watermelon and pig related skill set didn’t transfer over well to the textile and cigarette factories in the industrial zones.
He decided to try his luck as a freelance watermelon rind artist. He put his business card up on a lamp post and waited for his first customer.