Construction Time

Apr. 2017


Cement, Old buildings waste


75 cm * 75 cm * 75 cm, 45 cm * 45 cm * 45 cm


Changde City, Hunan Province, China

Project Team

Designer: Hu Quanchun | Assistant: He Guowei, Wang Songliang, Xiang Yu

Construction Team

Xiao Bin; Liu Jianwen, Liu Jianwu, Sun Deli, Chen Shuguo, ChenLihua

“Sealing” is an artwork related to urban upgrading. “Sealing” is a group of artwork from the serial work; the creating site is located in shanty towns on the right bank of Yuan River in Changde, Hunan province. At present, the shanty towns are being demolished and will be completely replaced by a brand new modern city in the near future; what it now has here will no longer exist. On the occasion of the demolition, how to preserve the memory of the old city and make it origin memory of the future new city is the basic point of creation for this series of artworks.

Due to the demolition, building debris could be seen everywhere in shanty towns, presenting a picture of ruins and depression. Building debris from different families were different if one observed carefully, because when building their own houses, each family used different building materials and decoration according to their preferences, taste and their economic status . Thus building debris generated after demolishing is different, they are carrying unique marks of previous life states of each families more or less. “Sealing” hopes to preserve and solidify these “micro-expressions”.

The creation steps are: first of all, collecting building or decoration materials which can represent the characteristics of the buildings from debris, and identifies the exact location of the house and owner’s name, confirming its GPS positioning. Then, the building debris will be sealed with cement into a cube for drying and hardening. Then, cut each side of the cube, the internal materials will show up. The last step is to carve the collected household information on the “sealing”, each body has a corresponding relationship with its original space.

These sealing cubes will be placed in the public space of the new city. In the future, they are memorials of the previous houses for individuals and families. For the city, they can be “used” as “city’s furniture”. Because the initial sizes for these sealing bodies are 75 cm x 75 cm x 75 cm, and 45 cm x 45 cm x 45 cm, which are the sizes of normal tables and chairs. The combination of these sealing cubes can provide rest and usage function for people.

“Sealing” is an ongoing art program until the entire shantytowns are fully demolished. It is also an interactive and customized program in which residents could request to seal items that they consider to be the most precious. After several years, when owners of these previous houses touch these sealed cubes, the vision of their old house, their previous home and old stories will be recalled by the vaguely recognizable unique architectural materials. These unique sealing bodies form the city’s memory kernel, telling the story of this city.