RIPPLE RIPPLE RIPPLING works closely with the village community in Shigushan, Wuhan, China since 2015. A site of both labour supply and resource extraction, the mundane village life and landscape embody the social and ecological consequences and dependences of China’s urbanisation.

Villagers in Shigushan are part of the country’s 295 million rural migrant workers, who dissolve their families as a survival tactic and take turns to float between workplaces in the city and the home village. What has emerged are indeterminate and resilient assemblages that stretch spatially from house to territory, coordinate temporally from daily to multi-year cycles, and manifest as bodily dispositions in everyday life. The precarious livelihood of rural migrant workers is a temporary, transient state that has become part of a broader structure rather than an exception.
While such state is at once the result of systemic inequality, subject to symbolic violence and self-imposed, RIPPLE RIPPLE RIPPLING rejects flat victim narratives that often reinscribe marginalised communities as depleted and damaged.

Through a situated perspective with a focus on the home village side, the project attunes to how villagers make worlds, from opportunistic reparation of scarred landscapes to networks of care that extend and transgress familial bonds. Such attunement also entails a process-oriented method at the intersection of architecture, anthropology, filmmaking and performance. From participant observation to performative improvisation to collective happening, this project is a long-term commitment to a place, its marginalised community, and their agency, complicity and resistance rooted in precarity. 

Forthcoming solo exhibition at the Architectural Association in London, opening on 10 October 2024 to 7 December 2024. More info to come.

The exhibition has been awarded a Graham Foundation Production Grant ︎︎︎ (2024-25), following a Graham Foundation Research Grant (2022-23). The initial documentary phase was supported by the Driving the Human initiative (2021). Fieldwork between 2018 and 2019 was enabled by the Collective Forms in China project funded by the British Academy. The Architectural Association Wuhan Visiting School 2015–2017 was a collective effort on the research with the help of all the participating students and the tremendous local support from Huazhong University of Science and Technology School of Architecture and Urban Planning.