China Pavilion at Italy’s architecture biennale returns to Jingdezhen
Published: Aug 01, 2022 07:55 PM
Promotional material for exhibition China Pavilion Returns-Taoxichuan

Promotional material for exhibition China Pavilion Returns-Taoxichuan

Architectural exhibition China Pavilion - Taoxichuan, which focuses on the displays at the China Pavilion at the 17th Venice International Architecture Exhibition in 2021, kicked off in Jingdezhen, East China's Jiangxi Province, on Thursday. 

The China Pavilion at the Italian biennale was titled Yuan-er, a courtyard-ology: from the mega to the micro. The Yuan-er exhibition first debuted at the Beijing Tianqiao Art Center in 2021 before heading to Italy. The current Jingdezhen exhibition, which is being held at the cultural and industrial park Taoxichuan, continues the courtyard theme to show more than 150 Chinese and foreign works of architecture. 

The exhibition includes five sections that define the concept of the Chinese yuan-er, a traditional multifamily courtyard.

The highlight of the exhibition is the installation Hearing Yuan-er, which immerses visitors in the traditional courtyard through sound. Created by artist group Leiluo, the installation delivers assorted sounds that can be heard in the Forbidden City, the alleys of Beijing, porcelain kilns, night markets and more to provide visitors with a unique experience. 

Continuing their journey through the exhibition, visitors will also see other exhibits such as one that shows how various architects create inspirational stories related to traditional courtyards through tablets and phones and another that shares stories of people's creative use of courtyard space for daily leisure and healing. In yet another exhibit, visitors are invited to design their own traditional courtyards using an AI program featuring the vocabulary of young Chinese architects.

At the opening of the exhibition, held at Taoxichuan's Ceramic Art Avenue Art Gallery, exhibition curator Zhang Li described traditional courtyards as "limitless" examples of different regional cultures and historical eras that continue to show the collective wisdom of the Chinese people. 

The theme of the biennale in Venice was "How will we live together?." The biennale discussed how architecture promotes equality, communication and integration between people, which naturally reminds Chinese people of the vibrant yuan-er, the basic molecule of China's traditional urban makeup and social fabric, with examples ranging from the mega, like the Forbidden City, to the micro, like those found in the small twisting alleyways of Beijing.

Held every other year on even years in Venice - the 2020 edition was delayed to 2021 due to the pandemic - the biennale presents architecture from nations around the world. Officially established in 1980, the biennale is the architecture section under the overall Venice Biennale, even though architecture had been a part of the Venice Art Biennale since 1968.

The main agenda of the Venice Architecture Biennale is to propose and showcase architectural solutions to contemporary societal, humanistic and technological issues.