About the project
Preserving historic structures is crucial for imparting a city’s history and culture to the next generation, connecting them to the rich fabric of the past. The latest Dong Village project, led by Phase One, exemplifies this commitment to safeguarding cultural heritage. In addition to preserving the region’s cultural legacy, the program aimed to capture and perpetuate historic moments through visual documentation, particularly through the lens of photography. The team which was dedicated to this cause has displayed a brilliant illustration of their commitment, and we express our hope that Phase One will continue to spearhead similar ventures. We are eager to extend our collaboration and contribute to these efforts in any conceivable way.
The Dong wooden building construction skills, acknowledged for their cultural significance, earned a place in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage lists in 2006. This recognition by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China underscores the importance of preserving Dong Village’s unique cultural heritage. Phase One is delighted to collaborate with “KONG” and the students of “Unbounded Learning” in supporting the Dong Village internship project organized by UNESCO, reinforcing the commitment to promoting and preserving this cultural legacy.
Through collaboration with “Unbounded Learning,” Phase One delved into the exploration of Gaobu Village, uncovering thirteen significant historical and cultural relics. These digital records serve as irreplaceable national treasures, allowing the world to appreciate the distinct charm of Dong Village. Phase One not only provided essential hardware support but also engaged in meaningful exchanges with the students, emphasizing the humanistic care required in the imaging world. The students’ focus on respecting the subject matter highlighted the importance of combining technical expertise with genuine empathy.
The distinct features of Dong Village, including its towering drum towers, winding covered bridges, and unique houses, stand as tangible proof of the rich cultural heritage of the Dong people. Each wooden building and tile exudes a warmth that seems to breathe life into the structures. Amidst the mellow aroma of pickled fish and the fragrance of glutinous rice, an atmosphere of gentleness and a deep appreciation for life envelops the village, showcasing a harmonious blend of nature and local culture.
The Dong Village project not only reflects Phase One’s commitment to preserving cultural heritage but also exemplifies Feisi’s dedication to this cause. Encouragingly, we anticipate Feisi’s continued participation in similar projects, recognizing that every small effort contributes to the larger goal of preserving the wisdom and knowledge of the past for the benefit of future generations. As the proverb goes, “without accumulating small streams, it is impossible to form a river.” Feisi is proud to play a small yet meaningful role in safeguarding the cultural heritage of communities like Dong Village.
The always Open Gate
The gate, once used for defense, is now a symbol of home. It has witnessed the arrival and departure of many people, some of whom chose to stay here for good. As a symbol of the Dong village, the house gate is also revered for its role in providing sustenance. Villagers often contribute their merit books here, and the Earth Temple stands strong, ensuring the peace and well-being of the community.
Drum Tower Center
Looking up, you’ll see a magnificent wooden structure standing in front of you, resembling an ancient giant tree. The layer-by-layer frame structure has a texture that speaks of time and is closely intertwined. The structure utilizes traditional mortise and tenon joints, with each joint being an ancient letter spelling out the unparalleled wisdom and craftsmanship of past artisans.
Drum Tower Surnamed Long
The Drum Tower, with seven eaves on the ground floor and eight on the upper floors, was built during the Guangxu period of the Qing Dynasty. Standing tall for centuries, the tower has witnessed countless sunrises and sunsets, becoming an iconic symbol of the Gaobu Dong Village. The villagers have invested their abundant emotions into it, making it not only a testament to the wisdom of the Dong people, but also the very soul of the village itself.
Reading in all Weathers
Shangzhaitun Drum Tower is filled with light, thanks to a large window that allows sunlight to filter in. Even at noon, the interior remains cool and refreshing. Villagers often gather here on sunny days to sing songs and enjoy the fields, while on rainy days they retreat to their thatched cottages with books in hand, learning about the world.
Master Wu, who is in charge of the renovation, shared that the building was constructed step by step, beginning with a drawing. The cool and refreshing atmosphere inside the Drum Tower is a favorite among villagers. We even invited Master Wu to take a photo with the Drum Tower, and he was pleased to do so. Perhaps, he too wishes that he and the Drum Tower can be captured at their best in this moment.
Preserving ancient Chinese buildings – Dong Village
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