Summary by Yang Hanzhang 杨汉章 (student, SZU) (film group)
Made in Baishizhou: The workshop was to me an opportunity to enrich my opinion of architecture, art and the city. Alex and Ivar come from Norway, and are based in south-east Asia, working for their firm WORKSHOP architecture. It has been a great honour to be led by these great thinkers and doers. It all began in November, when Prof. Guo posted information about this workshop. It took me five seconds to make up my mind to apply for the studio. The studio was just the day to after our final examination and it lasted from 11-23 January. This meant 12 days of continuous work. Well, “no pain, no gain,” I would say, quoting manager Zhou. I am an architecture student, so I was quite nervous about making film. I called my friends from the media college to help, and for 11 days they proved themselves great companions, cameramen and editors.
I don’t want to talk too much about how we made the film, the most important thing should be the motivation behind it. The public information in the installation and the credit in the film both says ‘Made in Baishizhou’. This is a film for this fading community and for those people who work in this area. We have enough architects in China now, but we still need more people that focus in the country’s rapid development, on the things we are at risk of losing and what we have already lost. It should not be necessary for two architects travelling for so long to come to Shenzhen to rescue our communities. Some Chinese people should be able to stand up and rescue our culture, like Yang Qian is doing.
I was also so surprised by the vitality of this small factory: it has survived between those big factories and has even lived longer than them. The small-scale gave them more flexibility to adapt the rapid changing China, and proves that only focusing on big companies doesn’t work.