In the traditional village of Jinghong, Yunnan province, a new space for reading and connecting the local community has come to life. Designed by Tsinghua University students, the 30 m² space presents a modern view of regional environmental aesthetics and the organisation of public life in rural areas. It places reading at its centre — reading that connects local people and promotes local development.
The reading pavilion project in China draws parallels with Europe Readr projects in Japan and Thailand — all are based on the idea of building an installation designed to encourage reading outdoors and promote sustainability. In China, the installation is located outside Beijing and is characterised by the desire to be well-received in the local community and bring European culture closer to the local population.
The reading pavilion was presented to the Chinese public at several events, the most important being the seminar titled "Slovenia and China: reflecting back and beyond 30 years of cooperation" on 8 December and a six-week "Sustainability Tour" campaign which concluded with a special closing ceremony on 14 December.
At the seminar, the Europe Readr reading pavilion was presented by the renowned and award-winning professor Wang Hui from the School of Architecture of Beijing-based Tsinghua University. According to him, the pavilion is the result of the fruitful collaboration of partners who contributed a wealth of ideas and worked tirelessly to find solutions in this unpredictable situation.
At the closing ceremony of the Sustainability Tour campaign, Ambassador of Slovenia to China, Alenka Suhadolnik, presented the pavilion, underlining Slovenia’s unwavering commitment to sustainable development and highlighted the Europe Readr project, which was one of the elements of the series of 26 video episodes of the campaign, and which have so far recorded more than 100 million views.
Project partners: EUDEL Beijing, EUNIC cluster Beijing, Faculty of Architecture of the University of Ljubljana, Embassies of Austria, Hungary, Spain and Portugal in Beijing, Tsinghua University in Beijing, Kunming University of Science and Technology and the Yunnan local community.
Kavaliauskaitė uses people’s interactions and the way they pass each other by, their eternal grip on solitude, as well as an ironic and playful gaze towards art and the source of creation. She focuses on the value of a single life, touching upon the components forming the foundation of the self and human identity. She pays attention to childhood experiences and how they are relived in adulthood. Yet the chosen angle, space, and details as well as the method of narration make the storeis in this book exceptional. The author manages to create an original chronotope and a wide kaleidoscope of experiences.
To sum up, I can say that Kavaliauskaitė is a distinctive, original, and necessary voice, and Bodies is a creative, playful, and intriguing book truly worthy of attention.