Antang Village Notes

Antang Village is being preserved by local authorities to capture the history and experience of village life in China. It is one of four classified villages in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, to be preserved.

The bronze sculptures told the stories of daily life and are set in intimate courtyards near my mother’s original house. Murals are similar to those in other neighborhoods of Antang shown earlier.

Finding the house location was a challenge as the original house no longer exists. But in classic form, we found an old fellow at the ancestral hall who knew where the house was located.

He agreed to lead us to the site based on the only picture of a wall of the house that I had. The walls of houses and granite paved alleyways provided a sharp contrast to the new artwork installations. These new additions were well integrated with the original village character.

I couldn’t help but think about the Italian village of Matera that Melissa and I had visited in January this year. Its preservation of twin hill towns was inspiring. The planners intend to preserve the environment for 0 impact from tourism while offering commercial opportunities to local villagers. I hope that the Antang planning authority will have the courage, wisdom, and funding to preserve this village in the same meaningful way.

In another moving experience during this trip, my cousin took me to find the gravesite of our ancestors. He goes every year during Ching Ming to clean the site of brush and leaves. For me, it captured the experience of many Chinese throughout time. They made the effort to respect and remember the shoulders of those upon which we stand.

7 thoughts on “Antang Village Notes”

  1. Victoria- Thanks for your latest post. Zhongshan is my mom’s side’s district – my grandparents came from Dai Liang and Sai Ah. I haven’t been back since 2006 so it’s great to see your photos.


  2. Not sure if my last post made it since I pressed “enter” by mistake – thanks for your posts from my maternal grandparents’ district – they were from Dai Liang (grandpa) and Sai Ah (grandma). I have only been there once, in 2006. Have a great rest of your journey!


  3. Hi Vickie,
    Many thanks for this next interesting chapter. My mother’s family also go back to zhongshan, although I don’t know which village. But for sure, you are pretty close.
    Safe travels,
    Love ye,


    1. After visiting an official grave site of my ancestors, I was more interested in the rituals surrounding Ching Ming. They are practical events to clean the otherwise unattended areas and give reason for family members to gather to honor their dead. Did you go out to the tombs of Gilbert’s relatives? It can be a very moving experience.


  4. Hi Tricia
    Indeed a fascinating and once in a lifetime journey you took with your family. And the conditions will never be the same, both physically and emotionally. It was great that you were able to capture in words and pictures such a treasure!


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