Modu Magazine: A Tale of Urban China

“Urban Village in Shenzhen” – Wu Guoyong Solo Exhibition

In this world’s recent history, there has not been another city like Shenzhen, which can transform from a small fishing village into a cosmopolitan, in just 40 years. This process of rapid growth has been devastated, and the natural villages that were originally sloppy and sturdy were quickly occupied by the city, forming an Urban Village.

Although these urban villages have long been urbanized and transformed into collective stock companies, the essence is the community management of traditional villages. The dual worlds of local culture and immigration culture, mainstream culture and subculture, traditional rural culture and modern urban culture represented by the two groups of “indigenous residents” and “rental residents” are in conflict and merge in the villages. For countless outcomers, these urban villages are only their temporary habitats while they are pursuing their dreams for a city life. For those inhabitants, here is their root. They enjoy the dividends brought by the flourishing development of the world outside the village, while they can still hide in the village to form a unified, solid and partial peace of mind.

Many urban villages have squares, arches, ancestral temples and gods. Some are luxurious, some are shabby. But it is the stage where the original inhabitants show the world their unique culture. Clan worship, land worship, money worship and power worship are all placed and enshrined in all corners of the village. The plaza is the link between the village and the city. It is also the only place for the villagers to relax, exercise, exchange information and public activities in the environment. The scenes of the people in the village are vividly presented in the stage of the square.

The villages in Shenzhen are not only the past of Shenzhen, but also the “root” of Shenzhen. It seems to be contrary to the modernization of Shenzhen, but it is really forming an intertwined, conflicted and symbiotic relationship with the city. This is a microcosm of China’s rapid urbanization from a farming society. In a sense, isn’t China now a “Urban Village” on earth?



Urban Village in Shenzhen


November 8, 2019 to November 11, 2019


Wu Guoyong


Meng Dawei


2019 Lishui Photography Festival, Students Creative Campus, Exhibition Floor 1, A1 Area

  • 2019/11/08 - 2019/11/12

  • Lishui

  • China Lishui Photography Festival