Shanyu Zhong
Beijing, China 


Emailed to Andrea Rosen on May 24, 2020: 

"Urban residential areas in China are commonly divided into microdistricts (xiaoqu), a structure deriving from the Soviet Union. A microdistrict usually consists of apartment buildings, convenience stores, playgrounds, and sometimes kindergartens and healthcare service. While a complex as such isolates dwellings and residents from the urbanscape, it has become a perfect structure for lockdown under COVID-19.  As the 'others' - residents from other microdistricts, couriers, food deliveries - had been kept out of the microdistrict where I live until May, the playground covered with artificial turf has become the safest place for children to play around outside home.

I installed 283 pieces of fortune cookies on the playground, against the exterior wall of the Party service centre managed by the residential committee of my microdistrict. The centre has been closed since the Chinese New Year.  My primary concern is that the work might risk being cleared away by the residential committee."

Emailed to Andrea Rosen on May 26, 2020: "Interestingly, rather than being cleaned up, the work has been entirely consumed by the children playing downstairs within 4 days."

Emailed to Andrea Rosen on May 28, 2020: "The cookies are all gone.  However, the wrapping paper was thrown around by the kids and thus formed another kind of installation - the relic of the work." 

Emailed to Andrea Rosen on June 26, 2020: "The consuming proecess basically repeated what happened in May, but much more quickly and violently, as if the kids have been expecting the cookies since last time.  And thus the work is completely consumed - there will be no more photos sent through."