Huey Hoong Chan

Big Fat Dumb Cities For Sale

The urban-rural divide is stark. On one hand, villages compete with cities to offer steady and attractive jobs. On the other, it tries to preserve a certain nostalgic image of a pre-capitalist lifestyle. However, there is no denying that the countryside is in decline, and population is decreasing. The village can only survive when it turns into a commodity - one that is, in Mark Wigley’s words, a form of hospitality expressing "an openness to the stranger… and to embrace the risk of the other”.

This research examines the status of the countryside as they turn into large hotels amid the hyper-capitalist tendency towards urbanization. These city-buildings, themselves radical objects of hospitality, are half-caricatures, half-speculations on the future of the European village.

The outcome of the research were exhibited at the Städelschule Rundgang 2016, Frankfurt.

Städelschule Rundgang 2016, Annual exhibition
12 - 14 February 2016

Press links:
Schirn Mag
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


The countryside is dead.
The village can only survive when it turns into a commodity.
The commodity is a building with ten square kilometers of floor area.
This building is a small city.
This city is a large Hotel.
This Hotel has ten thousand rooms.
The rooms are as large as houses and as small as restrooms.
The inhabitant of this building is the stranger.
The Stranger is the one that came yesterday and will stay tomorrow.
The stranger of today is:
The migrant worker
The tourist
The refugee
The student
The manager
The homeless
The traveler
The visitor
The immigrant
The foreigner
The prisoner
The patient
The commuter
The body
The flaneur
The voyeur
The expatriate
The exile


Jointly realised with:
Fariba Shafiee
Hanieh Khaleghian
Hossein Hamdieh
Jitendra Sawant
Jonathan Sutanto
Jorge Ruiz
Peeradon Warithkorasuth
Victor Sardenberg