January 9, 2017

The Fading Past by Deve Build: 2016 Best of Year Winner for Installation

Over the course of a single generation, a sleepy agrarian town 11 miles north of Hong Kong has blossomed into an industrial metropolis known as an electronics manufacturing hub. And that warp­ speed change has made an impact on a local architect, principal Feng Yu. Although firmly committed to forward-­thinking design, Feng occasionally expresses wistfulness for the slower pace and more humanist scale of the old days—a time, he explains poetically, “when people made their own handicrafts, and you could hear the clanging wooden beat of the bean curd vendor at daybreak.”

Contrasts between old and new inspired his three ­month installation at OCT Loft, a warehouse complex turned creative compound near the central business district. (The acronym stands for Overseas Chinese Town.) To realize the 1,300 ­square­ foot intervention, sited outside the entrance to an exhibition hall, he strung swaths of fiberglass mesh from a steel armature. From afar, they read as a dense haze. Approach, and a labyrinth of walkways was revealed. Cutouts in the mesh framed displays of baskets handwoven in the region. Its past may be fading, but the future looks bright for young creatives.

Project Team: Sun Zewei; Zhu Rong; Song Yali; Qiao Xiangzhong; Huang Mei.

> See more from the December 2016 issue of Interior Design

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