Art does not exist in a vacuum; art can support, inspire, comfort, change and unite.
—— Cited from the webpage of ARTS IN THE COMMUNITY of UCLA
Kids play in the courtyard of OCC. [Photo provided by Fei Architects & Fei Gallery]
It was a sunny and hot afternoon at a creative industry center called One Creative Community (OCC) in Haizhu District, Guangzhou, April 18, 2017.
Kids were playing in the center’s courtyard, some running on a runway formed by fallen leaves, some chasing pink ballons, some jumping up and attempting to reach the colorful ribbons overhead, and some pushing wooden boxes back and forth, while their caregivers just sticked around, watching them with smiles and occasional reminders.
The place vividly came alive with the newly added installations and people enjoying themselves. Days ago, however, this was just an ordinary creative industry park with an empty courtyard, people working inside the offices, residents walking by.
This is the magic brought by the “Tactical Urbanism” Art Installation Workshop, April edition of the OCC Arts Festival.
A group photo of the guests and students at the opening ceremony of the OCC Arts Festival. [Photo provided by Fei Architects & Fei Gallery]
The Workshop is mainly conducted by about 50 students and teachers from the School of Forestry & Landscape Architecture, South China Agricultural University (SCAU) and directed by Professor Sue Anne Ware, Head of the School of Architecture and Built Environment, the University of Newcastle, Australia. Centering on public participation and art installation, the workshop is to ponder over how to use art as a micro-interventional method of building a better community.
An Arts Symposium of the Workshop was held at the opening ceremony of the Festival on that afternoon at the courtyard of OCC. The participating students in groups of four respectively introduced their art installations, namely Changing Boxes, Ribbon Garden, Vibrant Furniture and Festival, to the guests and visitors. After the introduction, they received comments from the foreign guests who also raised questions about their works to help them think and improve. The foreign guests included Professor Sue Anne Ware, Spanish designer and Design Director at PuBang Design Institute Alex Camprubi, Australian architects and founders of Clare Design Kerry & Lindsey Clare.
Guests view the art installations at the courtyard of OCC. [Photo provided by Fei Architects & Fei Gallery]
All art installations are new elements to the space and do not break anything, said curator Jason Ho, Initiator of Mapping Workshop, Founding Director of Urban Informality Lab, and Creative Director of FEI Architecture. “Please take this space as a community instead of a creative industry park and enjoy yourselves,” said Ho.
People working in the offices came out to enjoy the moment, so did the residents living across the wall beside the park. In addition to this, it is the the participating students who benefited a lot from this workshop and learned more about art, community and life.