Baishizhou is one of the biggest urban villages in Shenzhen. Some have said that all migrants entering into Shenzhen has at one time or another lived in Baishizhou before.
Handshake 302 is an arts initiative started by a group of artists calling themselves the ‘Urban Village Team’, organized to ‘engage Shenzhen’s urban villages through art, theater, and social media documentary projects’. Baishizhou to them is an artspace and Handshake 302 is a 15 square metre apartment in Baishizhou where artists can live in. These artists can then create interventions either in the room or anywhere in the urban village.
Handshake and the common corridor outside.
The artist collected abandoned items from the village and arranged them into a frame on the wall. The items are also stuffed with seeds and left behind to grow on their own. The installation questions what is left behind after the demolition, whether it is the people who still need to live in the demolition or those who are forced to move elsewhere. The artist will care for the seeds during the period of the exhibition, but what will happen to the plants after?
A group of artists converted a fallen tree into a play space for children in the village.
Another installation was an artist picking out 50 items from the demolition site and sending them to a kid’s art school where he teaches. He tells them the story that a little mouse was in nepal and experienced an earthquake and after that the little mouse travelled to the urban village and experienced demolition. The children then uses their imagination and one item to draw out their story.
Items used in children’s drawings.
Artist explaining work to visitors.
Uncle who lives in the village. He earns a living through recycling waste watches from the factories. These watches are unused but thrown away. The uncle disassemble them and recycles the metal bits for money.
The artist bought the metal parts from the villager and used it for his installations that speak about electronics production and waste in Shenzhen.
Artist making installation.
He also made a cross to respond to the church that used to be highly present in the village. However, the cross could not make it into the final exhibition because of its religious nature.
Monsoon season in Shenzhen and urban flooding on the road near Dalang. I was told by the residents that whenever there is heavy rain, this area gets flooded, mainly due to the drains getting blocked.