A chair change the village

On the wall of a activity room in the village, there were photos of the villagers hanging, and some of them became “township construction artists”.

The light show made by villagers from Gejia Village.

On the curtain of the old house is the osmanthus tree made of old cotton pants.

Cong Zhiqiang designed chairs in Gejia Village.

Outside the window of the cactus bar, the old house in the village.

There is nothing special in the chair. The base of the gray conflict is made of cement and stones. The part of the human body is bamboo chips and wooden boards, which are nailed to the base. People in Gejia Village built the chairs for two or three days. How much money spent, many people don’t remember -Except for the cement, the stone was picked up by the village entrance, and Maogu was cut on the Houshan Mountain. These are too ordinary in Gejia Village, and no one is rare.

But in this passage of more than a thousand years of history, it is the first public facility called “artwork” by outsiders. In order to decorate it, the villagers also pulled a scrapped motorcycle, painted it with paint, and placed it beside the chair.

Before the chair appeared, it was difficult for Gejia Village to be associated with “art”. Most of the years, this is just a small village that is unknown, hidden in the mountains along the coast of the eastern part of Zhejiang Province. There are no self -run enterprises, no special agricultural products, and people go out in a stubble. Here are slowly as ordinary as most villages and lack of anger.

The shape of the shape like a hill is a new thing, but soon, its limelight has been covered by more and more fresh gadgets -less than 3 months, the village of more than 500 households appeared More than 40 shared space and nearly 300 artworks, including a art gallery, a handicraft academy, a gallery, a bar, and even a building called the bird’s nest.

They are the same as this chair, and they look not glorious enough. The name of the art museum is embroidered with cloth. The works of the handicrafts are all from a sewing machine of a farmers. The gallery is located on the river embankment and a small river ditch. But in order to appreciate them, people in Beijing are here, and people in Shanghai are here, and even a bus has sent guests from Taiwan.

They appear in an art transformation of the countryside. By August 22 this year, when the operation came to an end, a party in the village had a party. The vehicles attending the party almost stuffed the road of the village entrance. In order to welcome the guests, beside the bench, outside the villagers’s courtyard, even the colorful lights of less than two meters wide lights are lit with colorful lights everywhere.

The lights and lanterns are on the night in the mountains, and Gejia Village ushered in its own “highlight” moment.

They think art is the far away of oil painting and sculpture

The first chair was built between the old ancestral hall and a small supermarket in the village. In this village located in Dajiahe Town, Ninghai County, it was “CBD” and the most lively place, but it was still too inconspicuous. Foreign people will miss it as soon as they pay attention.

Cong Zhiqiang, an associate professor at the School of Art of Renmin University of China, is its designer. In early April this year, he was invited to Ninghai to try to bring some changes to the countryside with art. Designing this chair is the fourth day of Cong Zhiqiang to Gejia Village. At that time, his work here was almost impossible.

Before choosing Gejia Village, he was taken to a coastal village in Ninghai County. “The villages are full of villas”. Almost every yard is placed with bonsai, and some even repair rockery flow. He left there and felt that it was not the most needed place. He had experienced design experience for the ancient town before. “The villages in the ancient town have advantages in design, but it is difficult to copy if the advantage is too strong.”

In contrast, Gejia Village is lacking in many aspects. People here make a living by farming, but there are not much cultivated land and cannot talk about other resources. Village cadres tried to invest in investment. Bamboo forests and large osmanthus trees on the mountain are one of the few commendable things in the village, but in recent years, bamboo is not worthy of money, and it can not make any money for several “Osmanthus Festival”.

In recent years, almost only the elderly, women and dolls are left in the village. The two -way roads pass through the village, and the two rows of small ocean buildings stand on the side of the road. It is the most glorious place in Gejia Village. Most of the rest are old houses, and some collapsed. Cong Zhiqiang, who was mainly designed by corporate brand before, was here. “Most of the domestic design in China is for the rich, which belongs to the icing on the cake. In fact, the poor people need to be designed. The design must bring greater value to the disadvantaged group.”

But whether he can succeed, Cong Zhiqiang did not have the bottom of his heart. He regarded his work in Gejia Village as a public welfare operation and experiment, and privately agreed with Li Guijun, deputy secretary of the Ninghai County Party Committee. did nothing.

He asked the villagers to work with him so that the villagers who were willing to participate in registered in advance and compiled into a group. In order to mobilize the villagers, he deliberately designed the lecture content, not only eliminating the artistic rhetoric of art, but also carefully controlled the lecture time.

However, in this almost 1600 village, only 26 people came to hear his lectures, “80%look like a number.” He tried to explain what he wanted to do with cases and pictures, but everyone “obviously couldn’t understand”. “They think art is the things that are very far away from them.”

Cong Zhiqiang’s first transformation operation was planned for 12 days. However, in the 4 days of the beginning, almost no progress. No one believed what the artist could bring to a village. Some people in the town government were watching and seeing him. His design requires manpower to realize it, but the villagers talk privately. The professor from Beijing has made at least 500,000 yuan here, so that the villagers do not want to pay.

In recent years, there are no rare artists in rural China. In the rural transformation again and again, some artists stood strangely -shaped sculpture at the village entrance, and there were also world -renowned architects built a stunning house in the dirt. Not all artists and rural collisions can have a shocking response. The villagers in a certain place said that on the first day of the artist’s entering the village, they could see them drawing a well cover, and the next day they heard the sound of playing cards in their room.

For Gejia Village, the most obvious traces left by the artist here are painting on the wall with mud dots. In other villages, such paintings will even be secretly wiped by villagers.

“A problem in the circle of domestic art involved in the countryside is a common problem that the artist is coming, the village is lively, the artist is gone, and the village returns to the past.” Cong Zhiqiang said.

In his opinion, an important reason for this kind of problem is that 95%of the current design of the countryside is completed by the “foreign aid” of artists. Most villagers are just bystanders. He wants to explore a new road in Gejia Village.

He must try something. On the fourth day, Cong Zhiqiang decided to repair a chair.

Just try to achieve zero percentage

The chair is not made casually. Previously, Cong Zhiqiang had done a lot of investigations in the village, including observing the trajectory of the villagers, “observing where they stayed in and what were doing.” Then he found the place next to the old shrine and the small supermarket. After the tea, women and the elderly always liked to chat there, but a few large rocks under the ancient tree were the only place they could rest.


It seems that the trivial chair can solve the most practical problem. This is an important consideration for Cong Zhiqiang to choose the first art work. “Villagers are very simple to do things. The first consideration is useful, and the second consideration is to make money. If neither relies on, he will think it is an administrative instruction, and he will not take the initiative to do it.”

For chair materials, he chose the most common stones and bamboo in the village, “just try to achieve zero costs.” The people in Gejia Village were from the conference stone, and this was confirmed when Cong Zhiqiang was doing the survey of the villagers’ life skills. It is just that in the past 20 years, the small building has replaced the stone house has become the “new landmark” in the village.

The chair with a stone barrier allowed the beyonds of the silence for many years to have room for exhibition. Villagers who opened five or six years old were involved in the incident. A villager later told Cong Zhiqiang that because of the stone, he was a respected person in the village. People slowly entered the small building, and he was embarrassed to mention this skill again. This project has only two or three days chair, which made him feel the previous feeling. He said that when his grandson came back, he would take him to see Grandpa’s “work”.

After finishing the chair, before they had time to clean up, people were crowded on it. This is the first chair in the village outdoor public places. People who come and go to the needle of the needle, even set up a stall here.

For Cong Zhiqiang, the more important significance of this chair is that the villagers believe that he is a “foreign monk”. Those hands who were accustomed to the farm tools began to pull him and ask, how to make the arts look better. The 26 people participating in the operation finally rose to 46. 126 villagers participating in the second phase, the oldest 82 years old, an average age over 60 years old.

“Once the villagers know that you are thinking for them, it is easy to be touched.” Cong Zhiqiang said. Gejia Village is divided into two natural villages of Ge and Xia Ge. When choosing a chair, he even considers the feelings of the villagers on both sides and chose to be an impartial place.


Later, this chair was copied elsewhere: it was enlarged several times and appeared in the village entrance and other buses; it was also changed by the villagers and copied it to a good ancient well.

The villagers who built a chair next to the ancient well told Cong Zhiqiang that the well was the oldest well in the village. Although it was not used now, they were watering there when they were young, so they hope to be lively there.

“In this chair, I am going to write a paper, how to use a chair to reflect the relationship between artists and villagers, how to solve the problem of villagers’ trust, and how to use art to stimulate the endogenous motivation of villagers.” After leaving Gejia Village for more than half a month, after more than half a month, In the office of Beijing, Cong Zhiqiang said excitedly.

Villagers must move

Gejia Village also has something more “high -end” than this chair, standing in front of it. It was a “cultural auditorium”, and many local villages have this thing. But Cong Zhiqiang found that this spacious building almost became a fixed place for red and white banquets in the village, “it has nothing to do with culture.” In addition, the main public facilities in the village are several outdoor fitness equipment, which becomes a place for children to play.

To some extent, the situation of Gejia Village reflects the dilemma of rural transformation. In a round of the slogan and actions of “beautifying the countryside”, more and more hardware facilities appear in the village, but it is still a problem to integrate into the village atmosphere.

“In the past, we often sent science and technology, culture, funds, and projects. How these projects realized the docking with rural real life, we need to study it carefully.” Li Guijun, deputy secretary of the Ninghai County Party Committee, said.

Li Guijun said that in Ninghai, most of the rural environment is clean, and the house is not bad. “The hardware facilities have kept up, but the spiritual life is still poor.” “Like people, the face is cleaned, and some places have made makeup, but the overall feeling is not high.”


Then he hoped to be artistic. “It depends on whether art can make these people ‘live.”

Cong Zhiqiang also has similar ideas, which is why he asked the villagers to follow the design together.

He sorted out the experience of foreign art involved in the countryside and found that most countries, such as Germany and Japan, began to emphasize endogenous development. “To put it bluntly, it is rural rejuvenation, and the villagers must move.” Cong Zhiqiang explained, “This is like a school. If students are not enthusiastic, no matter how many foreign teachers are used to build more libraries.”

However, in China, the more common situation is “cadres, villagers, and many villagers believe that rural rejuvenation is a matter for the country and the government.”

On the other hand, the rural transformation led by outsiders is often not about the appetite of the villagers. Huang Bo, who came to Gejia Village with Cong Zhiqiang, was an associate professor at the School of Agriculture and Rural Development of Renmin University of China. He has seen a “beautiful countryside” construction in the northeast demolished the fence of traditional farmers’ branches, uniformly replaced with a fence similar to urban parks; he has also heard a company’s one -time undertaking 50 rural reconstruction projects at one time. “In the end, I took a template set.”

Cong Zhiqiang decided to try to change this situation. He went to Gejia Village to chat with the villagers. Local dialects are not easy to understand, but he said that he was good at his face. The needs of planting vegetables in the yard must be retained, and the interest of playing stones must also be taken care of. When designing a bar, Cong Zhiqiang listened to the owner of the courtyard saying that the wild cactus on the wall accompanied him for more than ten years, he retained the clutch of those who seemed to be a bit messy, and named the bar the “cactus bar.”

He heard that the river embankment of a small river in the village had a history of more than a thousand years, and he built a few frames on it to name the “Millennium Gallery”. At home, the villager Ye Xiandong’s home, with the calligraphy written by the children and all kinds of messy old objects, Cong Zhiqiang designed a art museum for her, hanging calligraphy and painting upstairs, putting those embroidered shoes, and mounting machines downstairs …

A 78 -year -old low -guarantee household in the village compiles 200 brooms per month. The money replaced by the broom and the minimum living security subsidy received, which is enough for 2,000 yuan, which is exactly enough for his wife’s medical expenses. If Cong Zhiqiang learned about this, he designed a work for him, let him use bamboo to give the child a playground, and made it like a big bird’s nest, named “Bird’s Nest”. This “artwork” made him a certain amount of wages.


For the first time, the villager Yuan Xiaoxian rejected Cong Zhiqiang. “I’m too stupid, I can’t do anything well,” she said. Cong Zhiqiang found that her cooking was good, so she started to pinch a work with her face. Today, her handicrafts are full of puppets she made with sewing machines. One of her latest works is a puppet with long legs and long hands. It was what she saw in the TV show after seeing it, worried about infringement, and made changes.

More and more people have joined the action. The villagers who had worked in the construction team built a gazebo with bamboo according to a schematic diagram; the clever villagers chopped a few knives, stuffed the light bulbs, and set up a “outdoor light show”. I don’t know which villagers add a few red cloth strips to make the waste pants into the appearance of osmanthus trees and sew it on the curtain.

The inspired villagers will send their works to Cong Zhiqiang for opinions, even in the middle of the night. They will also directly modify the artist’s design. In the bamboo gallery outside the village, a string of wind chimes were originally designed. Cong Zhiqiang later found that the design was changed by the villagers. A 72 -year -old villager pulled a color line on the wind chime. He told Cong Zhiqiang that it was to prevent the wind from blowing up the wind chime to hurt people. Chen Jiong, an associate professor of the Department of Design of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Congress of the People’s Congress for the People’s Court, designed a installation work called “grass boat borrowing arrows”. The villagers directly changed the shape during construction because That thing is unstable. “

What Cong Zhiqiang needs to do is encouragement. Some villagers complained that if no one designed the courtyard, Cong Zhiqiang requested to the relevant departments that if the leader came to the village to visit, all people who participated in the design must be passed. At the end of the first phase of the art transformation operation, the cadres in the town proposed that some money were rewarded to the villagers. The original plan was to set first, second, and third prizes. Cong Zhiqiang was worried that he would not be disappointed in the prize and asked to divide the bonuses to every participant. “The villagers are particularly sensitive, and the enthusiasm that can not be mobilized can not be mobilized.”


More and more yard opens the door

Seeing this can attract the interest of so many people, many people are extremely surprised.

Moving the enthusiasm of villagers is a difficult thing. A local cadre said: “There are rarely seen everyone in the village to do a project, and the villagers will have to pay a misunderstanding.” Huang Bo, a scholar who often runs to the countryside, has seen it. In some places, “from the farmer’s yard Put the dogs and bite the roots of firewood. “

When this operation came to an end, Gejia Village was full of people everywhere in order to prepare for the party. Some villagers fiddled with abandoned round table boards, nailing bamboo with different lengths on it, making different moonlles and losses, and some villagers pulled different colors of printed cloth, which was better than the tables of the painting academy. At the party, 86 villagers were regarded as “artists” on the stage of light.

The fairy palm bar has opened, and there are still not enough tourists in the village. Here it became a place for villagers to meet and sing and sing. The sound was pulled by the boss from a hotel in the city.

More and more yard opens the door. Prior to this, there was a house in the yard in Gejia Village for decades of garbage. It was not allowed to make any people move. Seeing that the surrounding people were changing. The owner of the yard found Cong Zhiqiang and opened the door of his home.

There are also abandoned yards re -played -the stone grooves of pig food have become a stone table for tea and chatting. Cong Zhiqiang was called the “Four Gentlemen” made of this planted pebble. There is also a shared space, which was created by 8 households.

“This was unimaginable before.” Huang Bo said, “After the homestead is confirmed, the land is the most troublesome thing in the countryside. Sometimes, because a tree occupies the position, both can be played.”

A cadre in Ninghai County said that he had also seen villagers in the process of rural infrastructure transformation. “This is actually because our previous governance mechanism in the countryside lacks the formation of endogenous will.” The cadre said. Ninghai County has formulated a “36 list of village -level power”. This list called “legislation for rural governance” “basically covers all the content of village -level organizations and village cadres to exercise village power.” But compared to the rigid regulations of “36”, “the village is a society, if there is no elasticity and no inclusiveness.”

After the preliminary experiment of Gejia Village, in the summer of 2019, Ninghai County invited 30 art teams from the country to enter the countryside, and proposed longer -term planning.

Ye Xiandong, a 65 -year -old villager in Gejia Village, opened a art museum at home. Although most of the calligraphy and painting works hanging on the second floor are from her children and grandchildren. The old wooden cabinets and embroidered shoes on the first floor have just escaped as the fate of firewood, but from April to the present, tens of thousands of people have visited. Not only Beijing, Shanghai, but also Guizhou, Sichuan. Due to the dispute caused by a luggage wall, Ye Xiandong and his neighbors have not been in and going. Seeing that Ye Xiandong’s family became more and more lively, the neighbors later found Cong Zhiqiang. Cong Zhiqiang changed the wall to a low wall and decorated the courtyard of the neighbor’s house. He saw the two standing together.

People in the village of Motherja will go to this art museum after dinner, and relatives who go out to work also call to see her look from her family.

This makes Ye Xianye very happy. In her impression, Gejia Village used to be a lively place. The supply and marketing cooperatives of several villages around the surrounding villages were opened here, and the central primary school was also here. Her house was repaired by the original main road in the village. Come and go. Later, the new road was repaired, and the people left, and it slowly deserted here. Today, the lively village always reminds her of her previous days.

No one thought that a museum could bring such changes. When I first named the art museum “Ye Xiandong Art Museum”, the villagers laughed at her “a woman hung the name so high”. But now, when she is busy eating, the rice bowl will be lifted and put down several times. Seeing the visitors entering and leaving, the villagers joked with Ye Xiandong, who said the dialect, “you have to learn to speak Mandarin in the future, and learn English again.”

China Youth Daily · China Youth Network reporter Chen Zhuowen also photographed: China Youth Daily

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