Bishan Project: Utopia in a Chinese Village Favorite 



Jun 5 2011


Anhui, China

“There are many problems in rural areas. For example, agriculture is declining, no one is farming, traditional things are falling apart, farmers are brainwashed by the idea of urbanization, and they don’t like their hometown. They all want to move to the city.”Activist Ou Ning said. Rural construction is an important issue. As an activist, he chose Bishan village in Anhui, China as the field to start his experiment, which is “Bishan Project”.

The core of the "Bishan Project" is to introduce the concept of "Bishan Community: How to Build Your Utopia" in the art gallery system to provide the audience with a new type of rural construction thinking. As a rural practice of "action on the earth", the "Bishan Project" invited domestic and foreign artists, architects, rural construction experts, writers, directors, designers, musicians, and local scholars who are committed to the study of rural culture. Folk craftsmen and folk opera artists conduct extensive communication and cooperation to jointly expand the living space of rural construction. The "Bishan Project" showcased the thinking about rural construction in the history of creation by non-local participants, and also presented two months of collaborative experiments with local participants. At the same time, it also performed and reproduced certain scenes of rural production and life in the art gallery space.

Posted by Mingke Zhao on

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How does this project help?

Timeframe For change


This project lasted several years and failed in the end. Culture construction for a village is so difficult that artists are unable to handle. Yet this project gained attention and provided a way for rural development which people can think and give their feedback. And it did also impact villagers and opened their eyes.