The restaurant ‘Chichat By The River Shu’, designed by ∞ Mind, was awarded the Red Dot: Best of Best in the category of “Interior Architecture and Interior Design”. As bamboo is the most common material and symbolic extraction of Sichuan culture, the restaurant takes Sichuan Qingshen’s Bamboo-weaving Art as the medium and carries out the intangible culture of Sichuan with tangible material. Not long before, this project had also won iF Design Award 2018 in the category of “Interior Architecture”.
▼餐厅入口及外观，entrance and exterior view
Catering industry in China has become saturated, business individuals rapidly emerge and decline. How will a restaurant contains contemporary folk art that rooted in traditional culture grow upright and unafraid on this land, where the rupture of ancient and modern cultures long exists? The inheritance and re-creation of intangible cultural heritage of traditional culture is the key. We’ve made vast and profound field research, ranging from Sichuan cuisine to culture of Shu(Sichuan) area, and tried to reconnect the rupture. Bamboo is the most common material and symbolic extraction of Sichuan culture, the restaurant carries out the intangible culture with tangible material. How to refashion the traditional culture in the contemporary style? We invited bamboo-weaving artists, stepping out of the bamboo groves far from the crowds, to present us the Sichuan Qingshen’s Bamboo-weaving Art at a restaurant in the large city.
▼吧台及入口走廊，bar and passage to the internal space
Bamboo-weaving stretching through the space and cuisine with hearty flavor satisfy both appetite and spirit. The dim light matches concrete furnishing, reflecting the coexistence of elegance and vulgarity of Sichuan cuisine. Joined by the communicators, users and viewers of culture with thousands of years of history, the contemporary aesthetics of traditional delicacy is now taking shape.
▼用餐区通道，passage in dining area
好奇 | Curiosity
Due to the international circulation of commodities, good-looking and quality products are within reach and updating rapidly while traditional handicrafts, such as Sichuan Qingshen’s Bamboo-weaving Art, are time-consuming in fabrication and out-of-style in shape. With the unitary business model that has fallen behind the industry, traditional handicrafts have been eliminated to the bottom of the commodity chain for long, which resulted in struggled survival of folk artists a nd craftsmen. Folk art renaissance is widely advocated nowadays. Although there are many attempts, few of them end up success, as there are many similarities among them. Flowers can’t be beautiful without the nutrient given from the root. In our view, the barren land of Chinese traditional folk art is still lack of the nutrient of fundamental precipitation coming from field research. In order to break the fault, ‘Chichat By The River Shu’ teamed up with ∞ Mind, entering Shu(Sichuan) area for several times.
▼昏黄灯光与灰色混凝土墙体、餐桌配合，dim light matches concrete furnishing
▼绵延贯穿整个空间的竹网，bamboo waving stretching through the space
聆听 | Listening
Traditional folk art needs a viable business model that helps it complete the commercial transformation and return to the public in a new and contemporary form, so as to gain further growth and development in social public space. The real masters of folk arts were invited to the restaurant in Foshan for hand-making traditional Sichuan Qingshen’s Bamboo-weaving on site, which is probably the world’s largest handmade bamboo-weaving decoration. When the traditional folk art is blooming in the modern commercial space, catering industry is therefore infused with the soul of innovation.
▼竹编结构细部，bamboo waving detail
践行 | Practice
Living in the unenlightened environment of planned physical reproduction as well as almost sterilized spiritual reproduction, for the first time ever in their lives, the aged craftsmen stepped out of mountains, took a plane to a city they might have not even heard about, looked out to the sea with their own eyes, hand-made traditional bamboo-weaving on site. All for creating a restaurant out of folk art —— ‘Chichat By The River Shu’.
▼竹编艺人现场手工创作过程，bamboo waving artists working in the site
Traditional folk art has explored the modern prospect in commercial transformation, artists and craftsmen has rebuilt the long-lost dignity and expectation. We care about a culture and the people behind it, not only with the survival of the moment, but also the long-term development; Not only physically, but also spiritually. This is the core of Nongzao.
Project Name：Chitchat By The River Shu
Project Location：4/F,Poly Canal Palza, Foshan, China
Building Area：450 ㎡
Design Brand: INFINITY NIDE
Project team：Wu Ruimin，Xue Jiaxun，Lin Yanqiu，Huang Zhirui
Construction team：Shanghai Yuanhe Construction Co Ltd.
Bamboo-Weaving Artists：Mr Liu,Mr Wei,Mr Zhai and their relatives
Design Period：May – July，2017
Construction Period：July – September，2017
Material Supply, Furniture & Lighting Design：BENTU
Photograph: Cao Haochang，Ba Songyang
Text：Liu Jiaqi，Li Zhiqing