Happy Stacking, with Grizedale Arts, Nanling, China

Happy Stacking, Nanling, China

As part of Seven Samurai, invited by Grizedale Arts and Vitamin Creative Space, Guangdong, China.

Working collaboratively with local inhabitants Lin Han Wa & Zhang Wei Jun: Locally Produced Dried Foodstuffs & Peanut Oil Manufacture

Invited by Grizedale Arts to undertake a research and development residency in rural eco-tourist destination Nanling, Guangdong Province, China.

Nanling is a remote settlement undergoing cultural shifts in terms of its tourism and development, I engaged with Nanling inhabitants to catalyse their part in the art process.

Local Produce, Craft & Tourism

In Nanling, I worked closely with two small family-run businesses. Since the people are the real charm of Nanling I wanted to communicate their stories of process, family and location to translate their generosity, local small-scale production and identity through their produce. This was to strengthen the tourist/local interchange by making less homogenous products and more informative, attractive and personalized by harnessing their own potential skills and awareness.

It became clear to me that a craft orientated product would be valuable to the local economy. The product would transpose an aesthetic value intrinsic to my practice, but also viable and lucrative for Nanling market stall venture; a meeting and widening of cultures.

  • Two documentaries: Lin Han Wa, 19 minutes and Zhang Wei Jun, 25 minutes
  • Dried Food Pic n’ Mix and handcraft package offering
  • Peanut Oil bottle and box prototypes

My residency resulted in collaboration also with a local school teacher, Maggie, a calligrapher and brush artist Zheng and Chen Yan, a local gujun player and avid crochet hobbyist to develop both projects. Our gatherings resulted in questions from villagers and neighbouring stallholders keen to share and suggestions, plus family and friends joined in the resourceful sewing, carving and designing of packaging.

Watch Excerpts:

Lin Han Wa

Lin Han Wa; Happy Stacking from Kai-Oi Joyce Yung on Vimeo.

Zhang Wei Jun


See Market Event

Lin Han Wa

Zhang Wei Jun


Lin Han Wa and Zhang Wei Jun DVDs packaged as below, filmed created during Happy Stacking residency, China with Grizedale Arts and Vitamin Creative Space.

From Click image for Slide Album: Happy Stacking Documentaries
From Click image for Slide Album: Happy Stacking Documentaries
From Click image for Slide Album: Happy Stacking Documentaries

Working closely with two Nanling families producing local produce (peanut oil and dried food) to foster their craft skills in a bid to stimulate their thought process in relation to regional identities and wider context of global economy. I created two documentaries  in the process. Lin Han Wa focuses on a dried food producer, meanwhile Zhang Wei Jun uncovers the peanut oil manufacturing process and charts my catalys of the family’s creativity.

An event day was planned ‘Happy Stacking Day” involving the entire village, with music, food, and art stalls.

Read my interview with Grizedale Arts here 

Publication: ‘Grizedale Arts: Adding Complexity to Confusion’

Read the Happy Stacking blog