What colour is your city?

An exhibition about the way in which we use colour to be in dialogue with the urban realm.

Every time I arrive in a new city, I always take note of the colours that go into making it. Cities have a complex makeup, and so understanding it we can more or less analyse their personality. We were curating the exhibition ‘Everyone can be a community designer’ when we entered the fun of Dongshankou, and in the midst of this neighbourhood’s diversity, we chose the element of colour without hesitation, as a way to present Dongshankou’s personality.

We used colours from the neighbourhood to trigger different thoughts and feelings in people, and then invited people to share what these meant to them. The responses we collected gave us the material for this exhibition.

We started out by asking questions and we received 66 answers. We called this ‘impression – colour’, inviting everyone to share what impression of the city did a particular colour give.

For how many years have you been in this city? In your eyes, what colour is it?

@ 苏二 Su Er

Guangzhou, 4 years, orange, eye-catching. Different. But if you look at it too long you’ll get tired. Whether it’s the climate or the food, before I came here I had had no contact with it before, even now it’s very different for me. But after spending enough time in Guangzhou, I realise that I am not in line with her temperament, I’m not an ambitious person, yet Guangzhou is like a dream factory, everyone can find something worth struggling for here.


@ 罗三炮 Luo Sanpao

Dongguan, at least 18 years, a light red that is graying, as if there was a thin cloud and fog; in fact life in Dongguan is quiet and full of life.


@ 黄奇顺 ANDONE Huang Qishun

Shenzhen; 1 year; ‘new’, clear, innovative; this is a ‘feeling’ colour. People don’t get suffocated here, greenery is taken seriously, high rise buildings have yellow and green, when I’m out walking deep at night, the air is fresh and comfortable, quiet, with neon lights flashing.


@ 佳虹 Wa Hong

Huizhou, blue, clean and refreshing, whether it’s sunny or the air after rain, people feel clarity and transparency, some people say blue is the colour of melancholy, but I feel like it’s one of those colours that comes out of being cleansed by water. I suppose it’s more of a light blue, when blue becomes darker it also becomes more chaotic.


@ 陈衍宇 Chen Yanyu

I’m studying in Wuhan at the moment, I have lived here for 4 years now, and will do for 3 more. I think Wuhan is red, on one hand Wuhan has developed so fast in the past few years, everything is red and firy, excitement and anticipation is written all over everyone’s faces.


@ 井四 Jingsi

Qingdao; 4 years, blue and red, the still blue of the ocean, with the red of May the Fourth square in May, as well as the red paint on the western architecture in the old town.


@ 新疆不留名伙伴 The friend from Xinjiang that didn’t leave their name

Xinjiang, from birth to high school, purple, very romantic and very mysterious. Romantic because my home is there, I grew up there, so all the stories begin there, and I am a very nostalgic person. Mysterious because none of you understand it. Every person has their own narrative about Xinjiang.


In everybody’s description there are red and firy cities, green cities rich with life, and cities that are blue like the ocean.