中英对照版 2018年第6期 孙丽雅、崔小琴 2019-03-21
Chinese-English No.6 2018 Sun Liya、Cui Xiaoqin2019-03-21
Chen Songde, 93 years old, witnessed an amazing change happened to his old broken house. On the day of completion test, he shook the accepter's hands and said: "I cannot protect this old architecture built more than 200 years ago. Now it's repaired and I can live comfortably in it. I'm so happy that I would even laugh in my dream." The completion test of this old house represents the success of the first phase of the Saving Traditional House Initiative in Songyang County, which renewed 142 old houses.
Songyang County is located in Lishui, Zhejiang Province. Looking down from the sky, Songyang, hidden in the mountains, consists of hundreds of traditional villages along the river. A poet Shen Hui in Song Dynasty once wrote a poem about this place; "It is only this place in the world that nothing is to be worried about." Min and Hui style architectures were built here by the people migrated from Jiangxi, Fujian, or Anhui Province. However, as more and more young people went out to make a living, the villages are in ruin. But people here still have cultural consciousness and strong feelings towards their homes. These old houses represent people's homesickness. "Without these houses, where is my home?" Therefore, the Saving Traditional House Initiative, which is supported by National Cultural Heritage Administration and launched by China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation, is gradually unfolding. Just like Chenghui Village, many other villages underwent fundamental change and these old houses were injected new vitality.
The repair project also brought the boom in local craftsmen and traditional handicraft. Songyang County Party Committee made a local talent policy to cultivate craftsmen in Songyang. Zeng Xinliang from Yinyuan Village, Sandu Township, who has been making a living out of his hometown for more than 10 years, came back home with his son and organized a special old house repair team. Since May, 2016, they have undertaken 6 repair projects, with his team members increasing to from 8 20 people. Wang Yongqiu, Associate Director of Old Villages and Houses Office in Songyang, said: "Allowing original residents to repair their own old houses can reduce the cost and encourage people to take an active part in saving these old houses, so that we can make sure they have an everlasting vitality." By now, there are more than 30 construction teams in Songyang, providing jobs for about 600 people. Old houses are repaired, with teams being trained, and an entire industry coming into being.
Now, 142 broken old houses have been repaired and renewed. Because of its modern modification, residents can now live comfortably in it, and the dream of living poetically in the village has been realized. Wang Jun, Secretary of the County Party Committee, said:" Many renewed old houses play a positive part in improving residents' living conditions, providing public activity space for villagers and nurturing new rural formats." Thanks to renovation of the old houses, the solitude old village has attracted urban residents, investors and artists, continuing to write a "Songyang story" about conserving and utilizing traditional villages.
During the Spring Festival in 2018, Shimenxu Gallery Bridge in Songyang, Zhejiang Province, suddenly became popular on the Internet and attracted about 80,000 tourists. This bridge was originally Shimenxu Bridge built in June 1974. It was once an important bridge connecting north and south of Songyin River, but it was gradually abandoned in 1990s. In 2017, Songyang government repaired and reinforced the bridge, using light woods to connect both sides. Together with the river, it becomes a natural part of a beautiful scene.
Songyang proposed "rural rejuvenation led by culture". One county is one unit and undertakes acupuncture point intervention and follows the principle of minimal intervention. They summarized cultural and historical heritage and special industry of each village, and build a resource growth oriented economic development system, which is based on high-quality agriculture and featured the integrated development of primary, secondary, and tertiary industries, in order to promote the connection between villages and interaction between villages and cities.
This acupuncture point intervention means stimulating the district's vitality by introducing vigorous architecture with local characteristics. Thus, it attracted many great talents and teams with dreams and ambitions to get deeply involved, including architect Xu Tiantian.
On March 16th, 2018, the Aedes Architecture Forum, themed on Rural Moves, was opened in Berlin, Germany. For global rural problem, she told a Songyang story and shared rural construction experience in Songyang County with Europe. From March 17th to June 7th, she exhibited four works designed by herself, including Shimenxu Bridge, Brown Sugar Factory, Hakka Indenture Museum, and Wang Jing Memorial Hall. They all received good reputation.
Brown sugar made in the traditional way is delicious, but it is cheap and fails to be environment-friendly. To inherit and develop this traditional industry that has existed for more than 100 years, Xu Tiantian started and designed a brown sugar factory based on traditional skills and featured with modern appearance. The utilization of production line improved the quality of brown sugar. "In 2011, brown sugar per jin was worth 8 yuan, but in 2017, it's worth 22 yuan. The average output value per mu of the 60 mu cane field in Xing Village is 20,000 yuan, which is much higher than other economic plants such as tea." Meanwhile, the brown sugar factory becomes a comprehensive cultural and tourism project, which accommodates different functions, including cultural experience, architecture arts, cultural public space, and product exhibition. It is an important public activity space in the area. Now with the brown sugar factory, the village is developing rural tourism to increase villagers' income.
The Hakka Indenture Museum completed and opened in September 2017 also naturally fits in the overall rural environment and becomes an inseparable part of the village. Inspired by spirits of contract, it is based on the research results of ancient contract in Shicang and built along the mountain. Coarsely hewn stones are layered in a wild lattice to create massive walls, which represents spirits of contract rooted in the earth. To stimulate vitality of the whole Shicang area, besides the museum where the exhibitions of ancient contracts, account books and paintings can lead to people's admiration and respect to rules, there will be cultural hotels and renewed old houses in the surrounding area, thus forming special agricultural factories producing wine and tofu, accommodations and restaurants.
Just like these projects, other works, such as Pingtian Village Center, Bamboo Pavilion in Damushan area and Pine Park Pavilion along Songyin River, also fit into villages and become comprehensive projects with functions, artistic beauties and appreciation. They can demonstrate various lives in this area and lead to the revitalization of an area, thus promoting the development of an industry and building new rural confidence.