My China Story – Chasing after big shoes, my father is my goal
“I just always feel like I’ve got very big shoes to chase after, and I try. My dad will always be an almost unreachable goal, but I try!” said Su-Nam Chen, a 25-year-old architect in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Chen’s parents moved to Johannesburg from south China’s Guangzhou, and they opened a supermarket, which was one of the original two supermarkets “actually on the street.”
Chen’s father initially had the visions for the new Chinatown and wanted to recreate the traditional Chinese culture on the streets in Johannesburg. Therefore, he started off with a China gate, which he has recreated the Chinese architecture.
It was her father’s interest in property developing that drew her to architecture. So she started a company named Culveture, with the aim of improving “building efficiency.”
“We were looking at building efficiency and building using a new technology to have very fast construction processes to reduce construction cost and time,” said Chen.
She has investigated into the idea of micro dignified living, and managed to fit in a kitchen, a shower, a wet room and a bedroom within eight square meters (86 sq feet.) She said the idea was inspired by the Chinese construction models.
Zaheer Cassim based in South Africa contributed to the video.
(Video includes footage/materials sourced from UJ GSA.)