Building a Future Countryside

China Pavilion at Venice Biennale

23 May 2018

The 16th International Architecture Exhibition, organized by La Biennale di Venezia, takes place from May 26th to November 25th 2018 in Venice. It’s titled Freespace, a word which describes a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture's agenda.
The China Pavilion features the theme “Building a Future Countryside” in the Arsenale venue at the 2018 Venice Biennale.

“The motivation for this exhibition is more than just xiangchou, a Chinese term that refers to nostalgia for rural lands. We return to the countryside where Chinese culture originated to recover forgotten values and overlooked possibilities; from there, we will build a future countryside", Mr. Li Xiangning, the Curator, says.
From the great yellow expanse of the Loess Plateau to the water towns south of the Yangtze, from the vast and abundant plains of northeast China to the green and beautiful farmlands of the south, hundreds and thousands of villages have become sites for industrial development, self-building, and cultural creation. These sites enjoy tremendous opportunities offered by technological innovations, including the internet, logistics systems, and sharing economies.
“Building a Future Countryside” depicts the countryside of contemporary China through six episodes: poetic dwellings, local production, cultural practices, agricultural tourism, community reconstruction, and future exploration. This exhibition outlines a free space for opportunity and anticipates future development.
Actually, one of the major challenges facing contemporary built environments is the future of rural development. In China, the countryside has become a new frontier for experiments in this area, and the country is developing its countryside at a speed and scale unseen in the West. Drawn by the promise of boundless opportunity, architects, artists, developers as well as capital flow are converging in rural areas across the nation.

 In bamboo, a multi-functional cultural center capable of accommodating exhibitions, conferences, and other community events, by Philip F. Yuan, Archi-Union Architects.
photo by Bian Lin 
 Xinchang village central kindergarten inner plaza, by Atelier Deshaus
photo by Su Shengliang 
 Ruralation Shenaoli Library, by Zhang Lei
photo by Yao Liall 
 Henhouse of the Taiyang Organic Farming Commune, by Chen Haoru
photo by Lu Hengzhong 
 Pig Barn of the Taiyang Organic Farming Commune, by Chen Haoru
photo by Lu Hengzhong 
 Chaimiduo Farm Restaurant and Bazaar, by Zhao Yang
photo by Wang Pengfei 



Curator: Li Xiangning
Commissioner: China Arts And Entertainment Group
Organizer: Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People's Republic of China
Presenter: China International Exhibition Agency

All images courtesy of Pavilion of China at the 16th Venice Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia