2015/2016, 14 x 6 x 4 meters, materials: wood, cardboard, glass, plexieglass, epoxy, bambu,clothes and other materials.
The work was was made for the Bi-City Biennale for Architecture and Urban Planning in Shenzhen, China. And the part of the biennale Voerman participated in, 3D Collage City, was curated by Aaron Betsky.
In this installation Voerman wanted to shine a light on the millions of migrantworkers in the Shenzhen region. These millions of workers, how do we fascilitate them, how do they live and work in the very young city of Shenzhen?. Can cityplanning perhaps learn something from the intimacy and the slowly evolving countryside and their villages? These workers and there talents and dreams and their creative potential will play a prominent role in Voerman’s installation and they will be involved in the installation through workshops, performances and presentations. Voerman let the workers tell about their own life through poetry, literature, music, visual art, etc. So, instead of focussing on architecture and city-planning, Voerman wanted to focus on the actual people who live in the city.
Within this project Voerman teamed up with Shenzhen poet Guo Jinniu, who was a migrantworker in factory's and constructionsites for 20 years. He started making poetry in his spare time and writes about the workers and their lives. Through his network Voerman was able to involve the workers in his program and to make a program for every Sunday-afternoon during the biennale, in which workers and former workers perform music, poetry, painting etc.to a broad public.
The inside of the cardboard pavilion, with colored windows and filtered light, recalls the melancholic athmosphere of memories of the millions of migrant-workers in Shenzhen of there small villages where they came from. Almost everyone in the young city of Shenzhen has their roots elsewhere.
Part of the work is a small courtyard-like space with a stage. During the exhibition, every Sunday, migrantworkers from Shenzhen held performances, exhibitions and gatherings in that space.
The work also pleads for an other mentality regarding urban planning which comes very close to the ideas and thoughts in Rowe and Koetter’s book Collage City. A mentality which is more respectfull to existing social structures in a city and historic elements, compared to the current common practice among projectdevelopers.
This work was made possible by the generous support of the Mondriaanfoundation, the Dutch Embassy and the Stokroosfonds.