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Interior designer teaches residents beauty of their past

Updated: 2022-10-06 10:05 ( China Daily )
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The designer believes that the countryside is a promising place with broad prospects for development as more and more talented individuals return to villages and start up businesses.

Two years ago, she set up an independent studio with designers in Fuzhou and began to offer consulting on vitalizing local spaces. The same year, she returned to Songkou again.

Zhang said that she was delighted to help a scallion pancake store in the ancient town set up an experience room where visitors could make pancakes themselves. "Everyone wins, the experience improves for visitors and incomes increase for the owners."

She said that her work is always fresh and full of challenges because "there is no one-size-fits-all solution".

This year, Zhang and her team have taken on two renovation projects: one in Zishan village, a former revolutionary base and another in Liangzhai village, home to the first fort built by women in China.

"Each village has its own unique ways and customs," Zhang said, adding that according to their plans, the team will highlight Red culture in the former village, while focusing on women's culture in the latter.

Having lived in Fuzhou for nearly ten years, Zhang finds that the city's culture and history are very similar to those of Taiwan, which she said gives her a feeling of intimacy.

"For instance, some people in Fujian and Taiwan speak the Southern Min language and worship Matsu (goddess of the sea)," she said, adding that the eating habits and architectural styles of both places resemble each other.

"The closeness between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan is in our blood, our history and our culture, and Fuzhou has become my second home. My friends in Taiwan are interested in my life here," Zhang said, adding that she often shares her experiences and invites her friends to pursue careers in Fujian.

"When we come to the Chinese mainland, we feel the goodwill and help," she said.

"As a result, we are able to understand the real China, and bridge the communication gap across the Taiwan Straits."

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