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A Guangzhou Stroll: Identifying with Industrial Architecture

These days, it feels like a lifetime comes and goes while I’m travelling. Flying into Hong Kong after a trip to Bali with the family, it was almost as if I had been one person in Indonesia, and was now someone else entirely. When you feel at odds with yourself, the only thing to be done is to go home.

I’ve never been of the mind that home was a specific place. To me, home is warm feelings and comforting arms, hands ready to hold you and smiles that resonate with you, promising that you matter to the person you’re with. For that reason, Guangzhou, a city I’ve never lived in, is a home of sorts for me.

Wandering around the edges of the city with my parents, my eyes were entranced by the sharp angles and unique additions to buildings. The windows of every residential complex we passed shone with the blunt metallic hue of its bars, jutted out from the window. Space between the two was often utilised as either a miniature garden or an airing rack, a clever use of small space in a typical congested city.

GZ architecture shot 2

Fitted with a romantic heart and a love for classical aesthetics, industrial architecture had never appealed to me. Our stroll challenged my views. There is a subtle splendour in muted tones, severe angles, and uniform design. I loved watching how light filtered through the spaces between shapes, seeing the buildings elongate or shrink in my vision as their composition played little tricks on my perception. Most of all, I liked looking at buildings of different compositions, sat side by side, stoically standing across each other, or on opposing sides of a track field. Set in a way that they appeared to be in quiet opposition with each other, I smiled at the thought of these postmodern structures doing their best to assert their dominance over the others.

As the sky shifted from blue to grey, we looked for shelter from the rain, and I smiled at the thought of our next walk.

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