Dia Wang

21 Waidongshan Rd, my home address since primary school, has constituted all my reminiscence and comprehension about the word ‘home’. Although with the rapid development that China has been experiencing during the past ten years, things that I once held dearly had to slip away from my hands. Houses are torn down and rebuilt, people leave and age, and I continue to leave for places that are 10,000 miles from home.

One day in April this year, I entered 21 Waidongshan Rd like any usual days, and realized that the small house that stood at the front of my home building had become nothing but dilapidated walls. The family that I greeted the day before and every day before that for more than ten years are gone, leaving their cat at a corner of the neighborhood yard. There was a notice on the wall saying the area would be employed for better infrastructure for aesthetic and convenience purposes. The next day, the whole house was replaced by a bulldozer.

21 Waidongshan Rd is a project that documents the social change under the fast development of China from my perspective of home. It also explores the sense of loss, belonging, contradiction of a person who yearns for dreams and ideals in far-off lands and holds deep nostalgic sentiments for home and past. Just as Henry David Thoreau said in Walden (1854), ‘It is the sense of something that’s just got away from you. Something that you can’t ever really hold on to, that’s there, that’s terribly important to you, and you can’t grasp it.’

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