Next event:
ERINN SAVAGE – Performance
Tomorrow 15:00 GMT

Shenzhen Urban Villages Project - Booklet

Shenzhen is one of the largest and fastest-growing city in China. Shenzhen had a population of only 310,000 in 1979, and now the number has reached 20 million, showing a 65-fold increase, while Shenzhen's GDP has increased by 12000 times from 196 million in 1979 to 2.4 trillion. Yet, in 2019, the largest urban village in Shenzhen was demolished through a renovation project. As the city is now rebuilt and restructured, will the urban villages survive? A lot of people come to the villages and a lot of people leave; it is a transient space. Whilst living in the one of urban villages in Shenzhen for two months, I took photographs, spoke with others living there and recorded daily life. Some told me they would go home this year, and some said they wanted to earn more money and stay for another year or two. Many people come here searching for something. High house prices make the majority of outsiders choose to live in urban villages such as this. While the location is excellent and the prices cheap. the houses in urban villages have very little living space and the environment is very poor. I wanted to know why people come here and what are their dreams. My publication acts as a document for the people I met in a small corner of the urban village.

Shenzhen Urban Villages Project - Drafts and Sketches

My exploration of using different materials and narratives in Shenzhen Urban Village Project.

The 13 Rooms Projects

During the two years I have lived in Glasgow, I have been to the rooms of many Chinese friends. Whilst we live in similar student apartments, each room is very different showing the inhabitants character, hobbies and life state. These rooms carry important social function. Access to a individual’s room can be a more direct and in-depth understanding of a person. I chose to depict Chinese student to explore the Chinese student living experience, which starts from the first day to the end.   Before the COVID-19 situation become truly serious, I visited the rooms of 23 Chinese students, interviewed them and made some observe drawings of their rooms. It helps me build up a connection with others. A lot of Chinese students don't integrate into the local study and social life, I questioned many Chinese students about their lives and social situation, my finding showed that most want to communicate with international students, but there are many individual and complex reasons stopping them from sharing deep feelings and emotions.   Now, many Chinese students are no longer residing in Glasgow and have returned to China making it difficult to continue my research. I hope this project can be a small bridge to share some of the emotional stories of my Chinese student community. While this project has not been completed, the drafts and story line continue to be developed. Here is a selection of works in their draft stages. As the project develops I will update this website page and its contents.

Daily Window View Observation

In the last two months, I have been isolated in Glasgow alone. As we’re all unable to go outside, I can only draw the views outside my window. I watched the sky and buildings, and I found the clouds and sky are never same, they are changing every moment and each day, I record them. I seldom watched the same scene again and again hadn’t realised these daily and very simple things could be so beautiful. Drawing these views has immersed me in peace and removed my anxiety. I hope to draw these views and record this special moment, when I return to China, I can also take this memory home. And I do hope to share it.

Drypoint Experiments

In these drypoint works, I explored the possibilities of changing the texture of the works, which can make a special atmosphere. May 2019

Collage Works

Selections from my quick and improvised daily collage work, July 2019

Digital Drawings

This part includes a little series named a little lonely man and my exploration of narratives using screen-based colours.


Selections from a series of sketchbooks, 2018-2020