While rural and urban culture is developing in parallel, historical villages are the roots of Chinese traditional culture. However, villages are confronted with severe challenges under past urbanization. To list the villages under conservation is significant work, but more motivation and methods are needed to develop the historical villages sustainably. For architectural historians, the most common way is to document the local architectural heritage, which is also the starting point of researching the rural resources and proposing continuing development.
In the summer of 2018, Associate Professor Yiping Dong and students from the department of architecture, Xi’an Jiaotong－Liverpool University were working in the fields of Jukou to research five villages: Jiulong, Shangpu, Guyuan, Beikeng, and Yuqing. The study was conducted from the history, landscape, traditional architecture and villagers’ perspectives towards heritage conservation, reorganizing and rebuilding the evanescent traditional knowledge.
However, the documentation on paper could not help to revitalize the villages. With the successful hosting of the 2018 China Yanping Art Harvest, the initial concept of “Using art to rouse villages” became a real contemporary cultural event in the rural villages. During the opening ceremony of the Art Harvest, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University held a four-day interdisciplinary design workshop in the Jukou County. Aiming at Jiulong, Shangpu, and Beikeng, tutors and students proposed the strategies for the rural future.
This exhibition presents the living traditions and landscape of different villages, including the typical traditional dwellings, traditional craftsmanship, and culturallandscape, and also students’ design proposals and strategies for the villages’ future.