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Public space is new frontier

Exhibition on 100 projects highlights the changes in rural and urban areas in the country, Cheng Yuezhu reports.

By Cheng Yuezhu | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-03-20 08:27

The Huaibang Opera troupe in Dananpo village, Henan province, has been reestablished after a hiatus of more than 40 years.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Unlike conventional large-scale landscape design projects that fulfill aesthetic purposes, these tiny gardens are usually built within a community, inviting locals to give their opinions from the initial stages of design and construction.

Once the basic construction is complete, adults and children alike take charge of growing and maintaining their own plants. The organization also encourages people to choose different types of plants that create a friendly environment for birds and insects.

"In urban public spaces, community gardens are perhaps the only ones that allow the public to directly participate in the production process, because of their small scale, low investment, quick construction and close connection to people's daily lives," Liu says.

"Cities in the future should allow people to fully exercise their own agency. This is essential for creating a sustainable community where every citizen can feel at home."

More of these artistic, innovative and sustainable practices are showcased at the exhibition, which highlights projects taking place around China since the reform and opening-up started in 1978, and particularly in the past decade.

Gao says the China Academy of Art's Research Institute of Beautiful China Initiative was established in 2021 to advocate "Chinese art for a beautiful China". It has done many case studies since then. The institute explores new practices in which art and culture can empower social development from four aspects, namely, cultural creativity, cultural tourism, cultural education and cultural entertainment.

Researchers from the institute have conducted interviews with more than 300 artists, scholars, designers, entrepreneurs and practitioners from China's 34 provincial-level administrative regions, gathering textual and video documentation to be included in the institute's database.

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