House in the park
Architects from Europe, America and China are invited at Ai Weiwei’s suggestion to a Chinese provincial town. Within several months, they are to construct a park in Jinhua, intended to form the centre of a new quarter of that town. Where green fields now flourish and farmers plough the land, investors will soon flock, followed by new inhabitants and sundry reforms. But the project ends up being drawn out over years. The euphoria of the early stages runs up against a reality in which torn-open earth and the lofty hopes of politicians, workers and locals are the only manifest features.