‘Our cities are insufferable’: Chinese artists go back to the land
Oliver Wainwright, The Guardian, December 2, 2014
“I think most villagers were quite surprised when we opened,” says Ou Ning. “It’s not the kind of place you’d expect to find an art bookstore. Or an espresso machine.”
Nor is it a place you would expect to find Ou. An anarchist music promoter from Shenzhen, turned underground publisher in Beijing, turned architectural curator and now country hermit, he moved to Bishan two years ago, driven by an urge to connect with rural life. The bookstore – which he convinced the owner of the trendy Librairie Avant-Garde, housed in a converted car park in Nanjing, to open here – is the latest chapter in his Bishan Project, an ambitious plan to create a prototype for China’s rural revival.