Sponsored by the China Arts & Entertainment Group (CAEG), the Chinese Pavilion of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition Venice 2014 launched a press conference in Beijing on April 29, 2014. Pu Tong, Deputy Director of the Outreach Bureau of the Ministry of Culture announced: Jiang Jun’s curatorial program “Mountains beyond Mountains” was eventually chosen as the pavilion’s final theme after the strict appraisal of the judges committee of the Chinese Pavilion of International Architecture Exhibition Venice. Yan Dong, Vice President of the China Arts & Entertainment Group (CAEG), Wang Mingxian, member of the Chinese Pavilion Committee and a representative of the experts, and curator Jiang Jun addressed the gathered audience.
Rem Koolhaas, the general curator of the Architecture Exhibition put forward the theme “Fundamental”. Jiang Jun together with several outstanding contemporary Chinese teams of architecture, design and research, use “fundamental” to express the Oriental pattern and thinking of Chinese architecture that is rooted in traditional philosophy, and looks back to representative Chinese architectural cases during the last 100 years from 1914 to 2014.
Different from the previous participating architects they separately display their works, the Chinese Pavilion of the year builds on an all-in-one cooperative pattern: the three architectural firms will use three kinds of materials and structural systems, and are running-in and are symbiotic with each other in terms of basic architectural concepts including stylobate, house, house and yard, etc., reinforcing each other. In addition, researchers, visual designers and artists will integrate into the space through the study of content, transmission of information and reproduction of images, so that the Chinese Pavilion becomes a mixed unity, to fulfill this brief “The exhibition is about architecture rather than architect” as demanded by Rem Koolhaas, thus returning to the building itself.
All national pavilions run in a common theme: Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014, while the Chinese Pavilion translates the theme of “Resolving the Modernity”, using “case cards” as the basic elements, to show a lot of cases of components, structures, patterns, gardening, form and the meaning of buildings over the past one hundred years, on the one hand, it highlights that modernity is an external shock, and the contradictions appeared in the process of Chinese architectural modernization, on the other hand, it suggests that Chinese civilization always has the ability to resolve an external shock and even to assimilate it.
A highlight of the Chinese Pavilion is the “second half” series of activities which is jointly planned by the curatorial team and the partners, including “Collusion • Symbiosis” exhibition of the exhibition and international academic forum, which are planned in cooperation with “Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/ Architecture and Brilliance Construction.
The space of the Chinese Pavilion is divided into four sections including framework, division, house and yard, and garden, which is “the bone-skin-body-breath” of the unity of the Chinese Pavilion; Further, in view of the 6 month exhibition, we decompose it into the display of objects, planning of content and activity, together with the curatorial theme, constituting of the unity of the Chinese Pavilion, and we see it as the overall “flesh-blood-energy-spirit” of the Chinese Pavilion.
Artist Zhang Jian also specifically created a series of landscape paintings for the Chinese Pavilion. Jiang Jun said Zhang Jian’s work didn’t independently exist in the Chinese Pavilion, and his work was in between painting and iconography. The painting echoes with the four themes of the pavilion “birth, growth, harvest, collection”, as the iconography, the fractal homogeneous pattern echoes with the categorising of home, country and the world inside the hall.
The 14th International Architecture Exhibition Venice 2014 is about to open on June 7, 2014, continuing until November 23.
Journalist: Zhang Wenzhi, Photo: Hu Zhiheng/CAFA ART INFO.
Translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO.