“To educate the mind, must start from the body”. Federica is a young Italian girl from Corato (Puglia), who created an experience lab and human gallery, on a mission to make space for the sacral dimension of self-expression and human relationships. That’s what she calls “Rongplace”.
To know better what is about, we had a conversation with Federica, in order to understand the philosophy behind the idea.
Hi Federica, nice to meet you! I had a look to “Rongplace” website and I’ve been impressed by the deep meaning, on which your project is based. Could you tell us a little bit more about it, please?
Hi Giulia, nice to meet you! The name of the project, "Rong place", derives from the Chinese culture. The sound is reminiscent of "wrong" in English, but in reality the word "Rong" comes from the Chinese language and means "to harmonize". This is because the whole project is based on the oriental philosophy of "emptiness". It is an art therapy, but in this case it is an art that does not look at the product: the project is based on cultural anthropology, with the aim of breaking down cultural diversity.
How does it work exactly?
All of this takes place on a stage without an audience, ideal for catalyzing the continuous filling and emptying processes. The space is a room of about 13/14 square meters and before entering the person is asked to leave all the unnecessary objects, such as keys, mobile phone, rings and bracelets, shoes outside. You are allowed to have only essential items, such as glasses for example. It seems simple, but it is not always easy for everyone. After this first step, the path of "emptying" the mind through breathing begins. In the section "Space - access rules" on the website you will find a detailed explanation of each step.
What is the purpose you want to achieve?
The goal is to make room inside of yourself, breaking down the barriers that are create with the overload situations of everyday life. Learn to clean up, recreate, return and then start from yourself and start from scratch.
Where did you get the inspiration for this project?
I drew my inspiration from a 4-year experience in Asia, particularly in Shanghai and then in India, where the project began to take shape. It all started from the passion and interest in the Orient and its culture. Being an artist is a tough profession, which requires sacrifice and courage. In China, this figure is recognized as a real job, while here in Italy it is not yet, however there are many talented artists. It would be nice if this idea changed and if it was possible to create a bridge between the public and the artist. This is also one of RongPlace's mission.
Why did you choose to come back to Italy and start this project in your country?
My house is the space of energy point 0, it is the point of origin, that's why I wanted to start this project here. It all starts at home.
How did this experience influence your way of seeing life? What did you learn from that?
Less is more: the ideal of cleaning, the principle of emptying, the art of silence and not only of minimalism. I also learned the importance of connecting with oneself and the value of the word.
You know, lockdown months have been really hard for everyone, regarding not just the economical and job situation, but also the psychological side of this time. How did you face up to this?
I think the blockade has led many people to look at the outlook on life and the way we live. Personally, the months of quarantine have been a source of reflection for me to carry on my idea. However, it can be said that everything is still being tested; I noticed that many people are intrigued by the project and I am getting in touch with them to make them live this experience.
Do you have any plans for the future?
Yes! Future plans include a project based on Chinese shadow theater in collaboration with a psychologist. Stay connected on our site!
To find out more about Rong place and Federica follow them on instagram.
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