Is it years of abstinence, is it the crowds, or is it something else? I don’t know, but there is a definite aesthetics of abundance at play in Chinese shops. I noticed that while walking around the ground floor galleries of the E-mart centre.

Some of it could be just the old kid’s dream of a mountain of lollies and toys.

Or sometimes, the shop will display a teenage girls’ luxurious fantasy of absolute indulgence,

But it’s not just about having it all – it’s about the commodities having a certain life of themselves, and, somehow, being part of a composition – a family. The chair you buy is not just ‘eekström’ or ‘Hjallkäd’. It has a history of its own, it lives its own life, among other chairs, and then comes into your world, like a pet – or a friend.

In a country that, still, when religious, will worship multiple gods – literally idolatrous – it is not surprising, after all, that objects should have a certain aura. The statues of the gods are on sale two shops down from the chairs, right after the pillows, opposite the lollies.

But is it surprising, or sacrilegious, that it should be so? After all, the purpose of these household gods was to bring fortune inside – like the famous Japanese paw-waving cat at the entrance of many Asian shops, also on sale. But is it an element of decoration for home or shop, or a genuine religious item?

So shouldn’t the experience of shopping, somehow, have a religious side to it? And why shouldn’t a chair be, somehow, on a continuum with a god-statue?