Hand-made art museum, Zhusigang district, Guangzhou, Guangdong China

Most of the vendors in the local food market never stepped into the Fei Arts art museum even it is just behind a wall. In this context, Fei Arts, architectural students, and vendors jointly created a Hand Made Art Museum photo exhibition which recorded the daily work of food market vendors with their diligence and pride, exhibited on the wall of the food market, and finally integrated into the everyday scene.

The information on this project was compiled by students from the University of Geneva as part of the Urban Futures Workshop (full report).


Date: 2018

Implementation period: 2 months

Time life of the project: more than 2 years


Cost : Not revealed

Status of land: Public

Type of place: Urban communities and the neighborhood


  • Fei Arts: a non-profit private art museum based in Guangzhou, the initiator of this project.
  • School of Architecture, South China University of Technology: co-producer and curator of Hand Art Museum, who photographed the hands of vendors under the supervision of the Fei Arts.
  • Vendors from the nearby food market: the target audience of the project, who participated in the initial curation process on the wall of the food market, took back their own photos after the exhibition, and spontaneously displayed them in the food market.
  • Nonglin street agency: local public stakeholder with the direct administrative authority, who empowered the Fei Arts in the later phase by awarding the Director of Fei Arts the position of chief designer of Nonglin street.
  • Other inhabitants: public space users, who enjoyed the art space brought by the exhibition, and deepened the mutual understanding and communication with the vendors and other residents in the community.

Citizen participation

This project was initiated by one local civil organization (the Fei Arts) and co-produced by target audience in the community (the vendors from food market) through engagement in the design period and spontaneous curation after the exhibition.

Types of intervention

  • Street intervention: decoration on the wall of the food market with a photo exhibition.
  • Art and photographing: a series of photos taken for celebration of the diligence and work fulfilment of the marginalized vendors.
  • De-fencing: the boundary wall between the gallery and food market were “removed” in the re-production and re-curation process initiated by the vendors after the exhibition.

Types of actions

  • Events: The Hand Art Museum is a photo exhibition that took the vendors’ hands as a clue to record their daily work, diligence and fulfilment.
  • Reversible interventions: The Hand Art Museum was curated on the wall of the food market in the exhibition period and was transferred inside the food market as a permanent display when all the involved vendors took back their own photos after the exhibition, and spontaneously exhibited them in the food market.
  • Experimentation/innovation: No new furniture was added except for a series of photos taken for exhibition. The food market was not transformed into a tourist attraction with fancy installation reinforcing the gentrification but tried to rebuild the dignity and self-confidence of labouring people through such socially engaged artistic creation.



  • The enhancement of dignity and self-confidence of a marginalized group.
  • The improvement of the working and living environment of inhabitants.
  • The reconstruction of social relations and publicity of the community. The cultivation of innovation and artistic aesthetics of the public.

Limits and difficulties:

  • The fragility under the strong authority of Nonglin street agency, which issued the demolition order towards the food market in September 2020 and might affect the survival of the project.


Guangzhou Feiyue Architectural Design Office Co., Ltd.

+86 020-37688788



  • Official website of the FEI Arts:
  • Related speech:
  • Related research: Jiang F, Ware S A, Gao W. Crossing Boundaries–Tactical Urbanism Practices in Guangzhou City[J]. KnE Social Sciences, 2019: 134–148- 134–148


  • Type of action : valorisation
  • State : Cloturé