Richard Weaver



Project Tulou - Superimposing Diasporas

My project centers around the traditional Hakka earthen structure known as the 'Tulou', creating and distributing 3D printed tokens of this communal structure with the stipulation that each recipient should pass this token on to anyone of Hakka-descent that they may know/meet. Each 3D printed model 'Tulou' will include a QR code, linking users to educational resources centered around the Hakka diaspora. By creating and selling these 3D printed tokens, I hope to not only educate visitors to the fair about Hakka culture, traditions, and spiritual beliefs; I hope to reach out to people of Hakka descent through the mechanisms of actualized cross-cultural exchange.

The distribution of these 3D tokens will tie into my wider research efforts to construct a VR 'Tulou', that in turn, functions as a communal archive where peoples of Hakka descent can reconnect with and learn about their shared cultural roots. This virtual 'tulou' will function as a community-led archive, empowering the source community to both contribute and extract what they need from the space; whether that be through learning, educating, protesting, socializing, or simply existing. The value of such a project lies in the history of the Hakka people as both a migratory and marginalized community - representing their dichotomous nature as both an insular, yet, extremely progressive and expansive diaspora - spread throughout the world. Through the NNNFair, I hope to delve into pertinent contemporary themes surrounding migration, extradition, and asylum in Southern China, preserving the 'Tulou' as an architectural symbol of communal diasporadic resistance.

I am a Sino-British Digital Curator/Archivist raised in the UK's 'Black Country' district. I have spent the last 3 years working at The Black Archives (Amsterdam), coding their custom archival database and digitally curating their online exhibitions. Alongside this, I have been conducting personal research into my Hakka lineage through the foci of the 'Tulou' - an earthen-walled village. I work as one half of Studio Imaginalis - a collaborative curatorial practice consisting of myself and my partner Marta Pagliuca-Pelacani - working within the realm of the ‘imaginal’ to help clients and friends formulate engaging public displays, workshops, and interactive digital platforms.

The 3D printing process, working and reanimating the Tulou between virtual and actual realms