It could be a missing persons wall set up after a natural disaster or even some kind of art installation.
But these rows upon rows of flyers are actually part of a marriage market where Chinese parents come to find prospective husbands and wives for their children.
Every Saturday and Sunday between noon and 5pm, regardless of the weather, the People’s Park in Shanghai is crowded with mothers and fathers studying the Lonely Hearts messages that adorn the grounds.
On the walls of the avenues, on trees and on washing lines, hundreds of resumes are hung by parents often without the knowledge of their children.
On them they reveal the vital statistics of their offspring, including their height, age, income, education, Chinese zodiac sign and whether they own a car or an apartment.
The parents walk around chatting with other parents to see if there is a match only after their children’s standards are met.
Shanghai marriage market is like online dating in a non-virtual setting.
Although the right to choose your own spouse has long been established in China, Chinese parents still feel the need to try and set their children up because they feel that their children are either too busy or are not actively looking.
Traditionally, parents arranged their children’s marriages.
The first step is to establish contact between the parents on both sides and if the parents agree to contact, then they will allow their children to go further.
Many young people find the idea embarrassing, but for their parents it is the last resort and the only way to uphold a traditional dating style for their children in modern China.
Marriage patterns have changed over the years in China.
The young generation in their 20s and 30s are generally in less of a hurry to get married, for there are more pressing matters such as careers.
Well-educated women in China have more options than women in past generations and are not afraid to put their career first.
This change in marriage ideology puts the women in a higher position of power within a traditionally male-dominated society.
This is compounded by the fact that the sex-ratio in China has remained abnormally askew for nearly three decades following China’s launch of its one-child policy.
China has traditionally been a patriarchal society and medical advances have also allowed more parents to choose to have a boy.
This shift means that by 2020, the country will have approximately 24 million unmarried men who cannot find wives, according to recent studies.
To give that figure some perspective, that’s more than the current female populations of Taiwan and South Korea combined.
But the tables could easily turn against the women.
The Shanghai marriage market is just one of several such open-sky marriage markets in China and despite the thousands of parents that visit the market over a weekend, success rate remains low.
Many parents reportedly have to return, month after month, year after year.