Jul 12

Letter: A Tiny Memorial For A Tiny Life

Written by Charles Liu on Sunday, July 12th, 2009 at 11:56 pm
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“This maybe the world’s tiniest memorial hall. Not quite 5 meter by 5 meter, it’s intent is not to mark an important historical event, or eulogize a famous person, only to remember an ordinary life.”

Her name is Hu Huishan, she was one of the student died at Juyuan Middle School in Dujianyuan, near Chengdu. She was 15. When Liu Jiagung, an architect from Chengdu, met Huishan’s mother at the collapsed school, he ask if he could build a memorial hall for her daughter.


Liu Jiagung designed, and on a modest budget, built a grey color, tent-shaped structure in the park next to the Wenzhou Earthquake Museum. Liu wanted it to reflect the fact Hu Huishan was one of the 87,150 quake victims. Inside is all pink, because that was Huishan’s favorite color:

“I didn’t want to make it sad; just wanted to make it look like a girl’s room.”


The walls are decorated with Hu Huishan’s belongings. Bird-shaped comb, heart shaped hair band, ping pong paddle, basketball, badminton rackets (she’s quite athletic), an award from school, a year book filled with girl talk, to a Hello Kitty music box that doesn’t play anymore.

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