Monologue of a House

Posted: May 14th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: real-estate, video | Tags: , | No Comments »

The last decade has seen a big boom of real estate industry in China. The residential property price, take Ningbo for example, has increased about five times in the last ten years. On the one hand, real estate industry plays an important role in China’s economic development and accounts for a large part of the government revenue. On the other hand, the private residence price is far beyond the economic capacity of ordinary people. It usually cost a people’s life savings to purchase a house of their own.

Despite how expensive it is, owning a house is still considered as a “must” in the concept of majority Chinese people. It is difficult for a man without a house to find a satisfying wife. House is considered as an essential element of marriage in nowadays China, thus the emergence of “Fang Nu” (slave of house), which means one bought a house with a mortgage for 20 to 30 years and almost the rest of his life are working for paying the debt. Furthermore, we are living in a world flooded with house advertising made by real estate developers, which created an illusion that you will live a happy and honourable life as long as you buy a house.

My video tells a story in the eye of a “house” with an ironic tone. Most of the pictures were taken at the 7th China International Housing & Furnishing Exposition (CHFE), and others are from the billboards, buildings and construction sites in Ningbo.


My fieldwork on CHFE (Part II)

Posted: May 7th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: real-estate | Tags: , | No Comments »

By looking at the real estate advertising at The 7th CHFE, there are mainly three selling points developers usually focus on: noble treatment, western lifestyle and close to nature, which also can be seen from the project names, such as ‘Residence of the North Europe’, ‘East Splendid Park’, ‘Top Town’, ‘The Center of Top Class’, ‘Spring Garden’, ‘Crown Garden’, etc. The most used words are: honorable, luxurious, glory, royal, five-star treatment, English property service, top class, private, swim pool, peaceful, green land, ecological. The most popular scene is blue sky, clean water, birds, green gardens, peaceful life, and luxuriously decorated house.




My fieldwork on CHFE (Part I)

Posted: May 7th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: real-estate | Tags: , | No Comments »

The 7th China International Housing & Furnishing Exposition (CHFE) held in Ningbo International Conference and Exhibition Center on April 10-13, 2009. CHFE exhibits products of real estate, building materials and housing decoration etc.


About 20 real estate developers exhibited their products there, most of which are for residential use.


Most of the real estate exhibits were decorated luxuriously with a western style. Pianos and violins are played there showing an upper class lifestyle. The most impressive scene to me is that a girl played piano in an exhibit corner decorated with classic western elements: oil painting, plaster model and fireplace.


It is also interesting to find out that almost all the real estate billboards are ‘bilingual’. Apparently, they are not going to sell those houses to foreigners. English is more a decorative thing here to make the advertising a superior look. The most ridiculous English sentence is on a billboard by Ningxing City Garden, which reads ’you changed your master’s degree…from computer science to…so you could participate in…’. It seems like the advertising designer randomly picked it from somewhere just to decorate the advertising.