Collection Works of
I grew up in a small village from Chongming Island, Shanghai. Great memories of my childhood and my hometown form what I am today. As a designer, I am always interested in finding inspirations from this place. Now, it is more my memories, and missing of my grandma than just a place.
Photos of the Field in Chongming
Photo Credit to Yining Lu
01 Image of Chongming
People know well about Shanghai. But when asked about Chongming, some may not even know that it is an island in Shanghai. And that is where I grew up.
Chongming, totally different from Shanghai downtown, is calm, gentle, and natural.
This paper and charcoal artwork used the map of Shanghai as the base, indicating two characters of urban and rural life. However, to some extent, they two tell the same story.
02 Crop Field as Landscape
Everyday life of my grandparents is all about crop fileds and home. They follow the rhythm of four seasons, day and night to sow, weed, water, harvest, and wait.
The most common thing I would do when I was a little girl is to go to the field, about 5 minutes' walk from our house, to tell my grandparents that lunch/dinner is ready and it's time to go home to eat.
This color collection project collects the color of the crop fileds in my memory.
03 Taste of Rice
Our family planted rice by ourselves when I was a child.
I love the taste of rice!
I can still remember when I was about 5 years old, I seldom lost my fingers. My parents and grandparents were busy removing the hull of the rice with one super powerful machine during the harvest season, and I, out of curiosity, put my hand in that working machine. Luckily, due to fear, I also pull it out super quickly and still got my skin worn out. I cried so hard, and all of my family members stopped working.
But I still like eating rice!
This package design is customized for Chongming rice, using the simple box and shape of island to show the quality of the product itself.
04 Bus to Dreaming Town
There is no metro station, railway station, or airport in our island.
The only public transport system is bus.
Waiting for bus in hot, cold, or rainy weather is annoying.
This project, collaborated with Yining Lu, is a bus station design project located in Chongming Dongtan Wetland. We use natural wood as the building material and introduces reed and water into the building to create an environment system for people to get closer to nature. The bus station is not just a place waiting for bus, but also can be a common living room for both visitors and local people.
05 Carrying Me If You Leave
More and more young people are leaving, to seek jobs and better opportunities in downtown.
Their parents, just like this piece of land, says nothing and supports their children whenever needed.
This project, collaborated with my beloved mum Juhua Cai and grandma Meijin Zhang, is a bag made up with traditional old cloth of Chongming made by my grandma. Please carry this bag with you if you are about to leave.
In these afternoons and evenings of summer, she kept working in front of that old loom, probably inherited from her grandma. Pa-da! Pa-da! Pa-da! ...The sound of wood shuttles, and the pulling rope made up of the concert of our house.
How I wanted to hear that voice again!
Grandma, how are you doing?