A graphic novels depicts the poetic charm of life in the hutongs, but also the difficulties
This illustration is taken from Li Han and Hu Yan’s latest publication, A Little Bit of Beijing - Dashilar. Taking the form of a graphic novel, it tells the story of 10 projects by the Dashilar initiative in the hutongs. The authors want to convey the poetic charm of life in the historic neighbourhood while explaining the difficulties and frustrations the community is facing. After completing a micro library and small play space in Cha’er Hutong (AR March 2015), standardarchitecture is currently working on expanding the project. The architects are converting the hutong’s derelict temple into a dance studio, inserting a larger room for art classes and adding a café for parents in other vacant, unused spaces. A collaboration with the Tan’er Hutong Primary School, located just one alleyway away, is being set up to organise after-school activities for the children. The hope is that Uncle Wang, the hutong’s sole remaining resident (pictured top left, in front of his house) will want to stay and be involved in the new programme, possibly running the café or looking after the library.