To hear the entire audio that riders heard inside the tuk-tuk in Mandarin with English subtitles please click here.
Participatory art project in Feijiacun, Beijing, China, 2016
The participatory project tukituktuk was produced last fall during a month-long arts residency at Red Gate in Beijing’s Feijiacun Village. Located north of Beijing and inhabited by artists seeking affordable rent as well as rural migrants who work in the city, Feijiacun is a vibrant, if transient, village. Today such migrant communities are under threat of demolition by the Chinese government, which often dismantles these settlements in the name of urban development. A study of this site and how its residents navigate displacement, migrant life, and transition underpinned the development of tukituktuk.
The first phase of tukituktuk involved audio recording Feijiacun dwellers who agreed to anonymously share personal stories of migration and life in the village. The second phase consisted of offering free rides around Feijiacun to villagers and visitors, while playing a soundtrack of the previously collected oral stories inside the vehicle. The vehicle of choice—one acquired through the local second-hand market—was a tuk-tuk, a three-wheeled motorized vehicle, and a ubiquitous form of informal transportation throughout Asia and other parts of the world, particularly the Global South. The tuk-tuk became a site of exchange, where participants were transported physically and metaphorically through other people’s stories. More than 40 individuals participated in the project by sharing their voices and stories or riding the tuk-tuk through Feijiacun in October 2016.
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