Xinghai in conversation
Xinghai in conversation

Xinghai from the company has been very helpful and engaged in our plans. We all know roughly what we've got to do know but we have to clear this with the Government Agency, so Xinghai asks me to put it in writing for official approval. It's not easy to condense and say in simple to translate language but it helps focus the mind on the run in:

Take with a pinch of pre official consideration salt:

Happy Stacking

The Idea
Happy Stacking is a project by the artists of Grizedale Arts in collaboration with Vitamin Creative Space and the Zhongheng Ecotourism Development Company, China.
Grizedale is a small rural community in the beautiful Lake District region of England which is very similar to Wuzhishen, with a long history of mining, industry, farming and tourism.
Bringing their experience of this history, the seven artists have been looking into ways that they can help Wuzhishen move forward and develop a sustainable, balanced culture that will attract more visitors and investment.
In turn the artists hope to take back inspiration and ideas from Nanling to the Lake District which will help the development of their own community.
The artists would like this project to continue beyond this three week visit and build a long term relationship between the communities and other similar rural communities around the world. It is hoped that the artists will return to continue the relationship with the village and also invite some of the people of Wuzhishen to England next year.

The Schedule

On Saturday 17 May 2008 the artists would like to hold a special festival in the village to suggest ideas of how this future might be shaped.

The schedule of the day is planned as follows:

7.00am -
3.30pm
A newly designed market stall in the market to show how village product and the market could be made more appealing to visitors and more useful to the community

7.00am – 3.30pm
To use no.37 ping fang to show the artists ideas and demonstrate how the old houses might be improved to make a better living and visitor experience. This will include serving food to the public.

4.00pm
A parade with the children of the school will leave 37 ping fang to go through the market place and onto the green beside the apartment blocks where they will dance a traditional May Pole dance, with a May Pole erected in the park.

The parade will then progress to the steps outside the theatre where a public performance will be held for the entertainment of Wuzhishen and its visitors.

The order of the performance:

1. A song by the children of the school
2. A welcome speech by Alistair Hudson
3. A traditional Chinese dance by the Wuzhishen Dance Group
4. A dance performance by Harold Offeh
5. Scottish Country Dancing by Artists and Dance Group
6. Scottish Dancing with all

Refreshments will be served

6.00pm
Finish

The Artists’ Projects

Maria Benjamin is working on a few projects:

1) Making short films and high quality photographs that can be used to promote the rich variety of culture of Wuzhishen. The films will be shown in the ping fang but can be used in the future to promote the diverse social ecology of the region.

2) Working with the school children to create a map of Nanling

3) Working with the children to create postcards, some of which will be sent to a village community school in Holland.

4) Developing the company organic farm to advise them on how to attract a new kind of visitor who would stay and work on the farm as a unique experience.

5) Developing food ideas with one of the restaurants in the market

Bryan Davies has designed a new market stall which will improve the visual impact of both village products and the market itself.

He has worked up architectural proposals for the old ping fang houses district and the market place. These proposals suggest improved community and visitor experience and quality of life.

Laura Davies is designing a new fabric specially for Wuzhishen based up on the interior design of the old houses. She has had a local seamstress make up model dresses which could be sold commercially in the wider world. This is to encourage the idea that the village should look to make product to export out, as well as bringing in visitors, ensuring a balanced social and economic ecology.

Harold Offeh is working with the children of the village to create a parade which celebrates the diverse ecology of Nanling, not just the natural ecology, but the social ecology too.

He has also been teaching the people of the village to dance.

Kai Oi Jay Yung is working with local producers (a peanut oil producer and dried food producer) to enhance the packaging of their products and making promotional films to appeal to a wider market beyond their established client base – increasing the value of their product.

Alistair Hudson and Adam Sutherland are co-ordinating the group and directing activities

....lets hope it works.....

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