Neri&Hu Exhibition | HOME SWEET HOMEJuly 2021

Home Sweet Home, curated by Paolo Mele, Alessandra Pioselli, Davide Quadrio, and Claudio Zecchi, recently opened at the KORA Contemporary Center, Palazzo de Gualtieris in Lecce, Italy, showcasing more than 40 artists and designers from around the world. The exhibition explores the theme of "home", which is not only a place to live in but also a witness of everyday life, a place where relationships are born and unfold over time.

The ideas of home and being "at home" are psychological constructs shaped by subjective perceptions of shelter, privacy and security. Our dwelling bears the marks of our daily rituals of inhabitation, and over time they serve as vessels for the accumulation of the artifacts of everyday life.

Drawing inspiration from the image of a bicycle, Neri&Hu has created Foreverhouse for the exhibition. As with many of Neri&Hu's works, Foreverhouse hints at the maintenance of tradition as a form of resistance to cultural erasure. Since the early 1990s, the bicycle has played a pivotal role in China. Whether in urban centers or the countryside, the bicycle remains one of the most important and ubiquitous modes of transport. For many people, the bicycle's significance goes beyond its function of transporting us from one place to another; it is an object inextricably tied to modes of life and livelihoods. The bicycle can carry a load of recycled items three times its own weight; it can also tow a cart full of goods for sale. Literally or metaphorically, the bicycle can support an entire family on its two wheels.

The concept of Foreverhouse is to stretch the familiar image of a bicycle to become a traveling home. With the addition of a simple metal structure and draped fabrics, Neri&Hu has turned an ordinary bicycle into a shelter with a table and storage pockets. The fabric pouch uses a pleated fold, which is able to contain itself and any precious items within: a perfect little pocket. The pattern of the fabric is inspired by the traditional delight from Shanghai: xiaolongbao. The thin but elastic dough of xiaolongbao is a flawless container to hold the aromatic juices within while allowing the steam to escape. Rather than focusing on the physical construction of a house, Foreverhouse directs attention to the social realities of our times: with the rising tides of mass migration, what happens to our sense of belonging?