If Rome is a palimpsest that retains the traces of its past, Shenzhen feels like a city that is constantly erasing its tracks. For example, urban villages may not be that pretty or the nicest place to live in, but is it truly necessary to destroy all of them? They could take on some redeeming qualities from the existing conditions. With constant destruction for new development, there will be little left to show of Shenzhen’s past.
Therefore, we propose to take a look back and connect with the past for a moment. Indeed, Shenzhen developed extremely fast. Just over the last 35 years it developed from a small fishing village into a metropolis of around 13 million people. In this process, Shenzhen became a city that does not foster its memories. If Shenzhen is a city that erases its memories, our installation is a vision of a city that re-lives its memories.
The installation structure in the exhibition is in the form of the factory building the biennale takes place. Basically composed of several levels of slabs and columns in between, the structure is then filled with ordinary things from the city: brick walls, metal frames, billboards, used furniture, tiles, dishes, old books, some plants, bikes, and etc. In a reduced scale, these contents come together as a three-dimensional collage.
Our vision is that in the end the biennale venue site will change according to our installation. The factory building will be re-populated by those who bring in with them reusable things that will be used to set up spaces. Instant walls will go up and people will freely punctuate spaces according to their needs. In this way, this vision will become an instant and regenerative urbanism that revives the city’s memories by utilizing the ordinary.