A woman and two of her friends set up a ‘Dream Home’ in a rented villa in Hangzhou, capital city of east China’s Zhejiang Province in mid-2013, where people from all walks of life were permitted to do as they please, thus ensuring the house will be a creative hub.
Ren Shang, 25, said her idea came from an experience when she travelled alone to St. Petersburg at the end of 2012, where she stayed in a flat with more than 10 artists, including painters, drummers, cartoonists, writers and opera singers. She said those people were the happiest she had ever met and the house was the most moving one she had ever seen.
In the ‘Dream Home’ which covers more than 300 square meters, there are three kinds of people: Ren and two of her friends pay the rent with their separate rooms as the owners, castaways can live there permanently for free and do activities within the public space, and CouchSurfers could stay on the sofa in the sitting room for a short time for free.
After the ‘Dream Home’ was set up, more and more young people came here to find free lifestyles. They set every Friday as movie day and every weekend as reading days. In addition, they also held various themed activities irregularly.
Gui La, a senior student of Zhejiang Gongshang University, moved to the ‘Dream Home’ to finish her graduation creations. She said she loves the surroundings.
Another woman from Zhejiang University of Technology said she travelled two hours by bus every weekend to arrive there, as she loves the unfettered surroundings.
However, Ren’s friends moved out of the ‘Dream Home’ in May 2014. Ren could not afford the rent herself and although she tried her best to find partners, she failed. On July 1, 2014, she closed the ‘Dream Home’ and moved out.
In June 2014, before leaving the ‘Dream Home’, Ren held a farewell exhibition, during which the art works of people who had stayed there were shown to the public.
“The fireworks were splendid but too short, just like dreamers,” said a young person who had stayed at the ‘Dream Home’. All of them came here just to find short-term spiritual sustenance, but had to eventually return to reality.
Ren said that although she has moved out of the ‘Dream Home’, it does not mean she has failed. She plans to expand the ‘Dream Home’ to the whole city. She said in cities everyone can become a dreamer.
Source: Women of China