Young Chinese architect Dai Haifei (戴海飞) recently made international news when he was “evicted” from the egg-shaped home (蛋形小屋) he constructed, he says, because he was having trouble paying rent in China’s expensive capital city. Dai had parked the movable self-contained structure, powered with solar panels, outside his office in Beijing’s Haidian District, but on December 3 local authorities ordered that the “egg” be wheeled away. Dai’s egg-shaped home became a nationwide sensation on China’s internet, and for many encapsulated the growing problem of high residential property prices in China’s major cities. In this cartoon, posted by artist Chen Chunming (陈春鸣) to his QQ blog, a policeman paints the bright red character for “demolish” across the outside of the now famous ‘egg-shaped snail house’ as the occupant looks on, startled. The bright, modern city looms in the background, unattainable. The cartoonist wrote: “We can be without a home, but we cannot be without a sense of belonging. We can accept that we cannot afford to buy a home, but we cannot at the same time lose our sense of belonging. What is it that has held our sense of belonging hostage to high property prices?The egg-shaped snail home exposes the desolation behind the resplendent face of our cities.”

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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