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. 

The current phase is supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts︎︎︎. The initial documentary phase was supported by the Driving the Human initiative, and architectural research by the Architectural Association (AA) Wuhan Visiting School and the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in Wuhan.