Breaking down Beijing + URBAN CARPET

Area around Gulou Dajie subway station | September 17, 2009

Urban Carpet 8x5 by Instant Hutong | Urban Carpet: Brown (Xi Si Bei, 2009)

With a two and a half month hiatus, MovingCities is following up on the hutong destruction around Gulou Subway Station. After introducing the area and the discussion about Beijing‘s hutong preservation/hallucinations, we now look at half-hutongs: a combination of dust and debris, bricks, and semi-transparent green plastic meshes covering rubble and ruins. Snapshots of semi-structures followed by a short intro to Instant Hutong‘s latest project: URBAN CARPET 8×5.

Area around Gulou Dajie subway station | October 9, 2009

URBAN CARPET by Instant Hutong

An art project by architects Marcella Campa & Stefano Avesani, Instant Hutong investigates the borderline case of Hutong districts in old downtown Beijing.

The Hutong Districts form a large uninterrupted urban carpet made by one floor courtyard houses/’siheyuan’ that fill the spaces in-between the lanes/’hutongs’. (…) After recent extensive demolitions, the Hutong culture is nowadays undergoing the risk of being totally destroyed: one of the goals of our work is to increase the consciousness of this culture, tempting the Hutong districts and offering new ways to look at them.

Their latest work – URBAN CARPET – offers just that: street public temporary events happening all along year 2009 in order to share the Instant Hutong project with people and bring it back to the city districts it was inspired from.

Urban Carpet 8x5 | images by Instant Hutong, Beijing 2009

URBAN CARPET 8×5 is a set of five one-day exhibitions, shown to the hutong dwellers inside the courtyards and on the public lanes: 8 carpets (180x180cm embroidery on canvas: pink; green; orange; brown; red; cyan; grey; blue) representing different maps of hutong areas in downtown Beijing, with a size of approximately one square kilometre and a population of 30000 – have been isolated and presented as autonomous town within the big city.

If you happen to be in town don’t miss their next and last event: 五 5th URBAN CARPET, November 7, 2009 (10am – 6pm) at Private residential courtyard house, no.56, Zhuzhong Hutong, Gulou Xi Da Jie, Xi Cheng District.

More info:

Pictures by movingcities.org (except Urban Carpet by Instant Hutong)

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Hutong Histories 2009 | part I | MovingCities
Hutong Histories 2009 | part II | MovingCities
Hutong Histories 2009 | part III | MovingCities

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