Beijing Art Biennale
Blueprint Beijing

Imagined Beijing

In traditional China, “looking up at the stars, examining the geography, and engaging with people,” the ancients believed everything was in a system corresponding to heaven and earth. Establishing political and moral order sought a highly metaphorical correspondence between human behavior and nature through the ritual education of urban space. Beijing is a materialistic embodiment of this ancient cosmology and an ideal urban prototype. This work references Altar City and forms two possible urban model diagrams through two different transformation methods. The work expresses the tension between the imagined ideal city of harmony, order, and hierarchy; and the real world of separate expression, diversity, and intertwining. In reality, Beijing has a tumultuous history that fluctuates between singularity and diversity, symbolism and concreteness, collective ambition and individual expression. The pattern comes from the planar transformation of the space built by nine groups of architects in the “Cosmic Cities” section of the 2022 Urbanism/Architecture Bi-City Biennale (UABB) of Shenzhen and Hong Kong. The curator (i.e., the author) asked these nine groups of architects to create an imaginary city with different themes in the same square space. Their choices were: “Yansong Ma/Space,” “Bin Zhang/Plants,” “Yichun Liu, Yi Yin/Sound,” “Li Hua/Air,” “Chen Chen /Energy,” “Shu Wang, Wenyu Lu/Soil,” “Yan Meng, Rui Li/Garbage,” “ Tianying Li, Haotian Zhang/Water," and “Han Li, Yan Hu/Machinery.” Work Form: Installation Work Year: 2022-2023 Material of the Work: EVA Sponge Work Size: 500cm * 500cm * 31cm Chief Designer: Zigeng Wang Design Team: PILLS/Manying Wang, Mingyuan Chen

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