Wednesday, 11 December 2013

XiaoZhou Village In-Transition - 30 Nov 2013

Xiaozhou Arts Village, a small village in Haizhu district of Guangzhou.

Branches of Pearl River wander through the village with houses lining the banks, canals, bridges and 'mashi' roads. This is not a very accurate picture of Xiaozhou now.

The village attracted a community of young and creative artists who were forced out of the city centre due to rapid urban developments and high rentals.

"Forget Our Memories" - an irony of what becomes of the village houses after the artists turn them into their studios and lifestyle cafes.

There're exhibitions all year round.

The villagers living side-by-side with the young artists, ....

... and streams of noisy and curious visitors.

A blend of old and new.

But the uniqueness about Xiaozhou is the village life is still vibrant. This auntie has been selling her sesame paste dessert since she was young. She grew up in the village, which used to be picturesque, and she used to swim in the canals during her growing up years there.

Village shops

More laidback lifestyle....

Children playing in streets and not behind electronics.

Oyster shell house is an attraction to visitors

Ancient wells are still in use!

Beautiful trees who have witnessed the changes in Xiaozhou

Thanks to the visitors, snacks like pig's trotters, fried dumplings and desserts are selling like hot cakes.

From 2010, large scale construction began in the village and hundreds of years of history were destroyed.

Canals are dried up... those picturesque postcards become memories of the past.

Xiaozhou is the last water village of Guangzhou.

Can the old village and new wave of art culture co-exist in this place?

Time will tell but the landscape of the old Xiaozhou has been changed forever.

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