Welcome to IFP on Friday December 9th for the opening of Lard Buurman's exhibition This Spring Will Be More Beautiful - One Plan, Two Cities in Black Sesame Space. The exhibition presents a project still in-progress which looks at two cities – Qiqihaer in China and Yekaterinburg in Russia – in which a heavy industry factory was built in the 1950's based on the same design and layout. Lard Buurman has traveled to the area of Fularji where the factory is located to document the remains of this bilateral industrial heritage.
The little swallow, brightly dressed,
Comes here every spring.
I ask the swallow: "Why do you come here?”
The swallow says: “The Spring is the most beautiful here!”
I would like to tell you little swallow,
This year will be more beautiful here,
As we’ve built large factories, with new machines.
Welcome and please stay for a long time.
"This Spring will be more beautiful… One plan two cities" is a first presentation of the results of an artistic research, which explores the embodiment of a romantic and at the same time very practical idea of building two factories in two different counties according one and the same plan. Uralmash Factory in Yekaterinburg and China First Heavy Industries in Fularji are both the icons of technological development and technical progress during the fast industrialization in times of the first five-year plan in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1928-1932 and the People's Republic of China in 1953-1957.
Decades, passed since the foundation of Uralmash and CFHI, were times of turbulent changes. Both countries, their city planners and citizens were making choices which formed an ideological, social and physical environment of Yekaterinburg and Fularji. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics does not exist anymore but the traces of Sino-Soviet collaboration are still very present in many districts of Fularji, aid-constructed by Soviet engineers. Here and there one sees the USSR-style red brick-stone buildings and hears the stories about Chinese-Russian relationship abruptly ended by the Sino-Soviet split.
During dozens of years hundreds of thousands of people were connected by the imaginary picture of their future while their present took sometimes very different turns. How do the changes in ideology influence the developments in urban space? And how do big histories and small stories manifest themselves in public life of the cities and private life of their citizens? The history of and stories about both factories always were and still are very much alive in Fularji and Yekaterinburg, but remarkably enough this part of shared heritage has never been a visible part of public history on a proper scale. Now is the time.
This presentation shows the outcomes of a research period in Fularji in the autumn of 2016. In 2017-2018 the project team will continue looking for meaningful connections and the ways to make them known and visible in Fularji, Yekaterinburg and other, sometimes unpredictable places where the traces of one plan for two cities can be discovered.
December 9th - 26th, 2016
Opening December 9th 5-8pm
Lard Buurman's residency and research project is kindly supported by the Mondriaan Fonds and the Embassy of the Netherlands.