French Chinese Art Centre, Wuhan
11 August 2005

The site of the art centre is located across the street from the Wuchang Tanhualin historic area, about one mile away from the historic Huanghelou tower on the Yangtzi River. The expectation of the building was an important public space for the city and a monument for both the past and the ongoing transformation of the city. The fact that many famous Chinese intellectuals lived in the Tanhualin area across the street inspired us. We were interested in testing the possibilities of building something out of the ancient Chinese intellectual practice of ink and water. The art centre was conceived as an urban container, within which art objects, events, acts, concepts and activities flourish. In this case the container is made out of intuitive images of ink-and-water.

While the site conditions also take part in the formation of spaces: since the site is cut into a half by an unexpected urban infrastructure (a flood pipeline), the 30-meter-wide outdoor space became the central courtyard for spatial organization, around it seat the east and west exhibition hall and the floating bridge linking the two parts. In the 80-meter-long concrete bridge, the ink-water stroke texture coincides with the necessary structural elements for the 5.5-meter-high concrete hollow beam. This becomes an interesting moment when an image merges seamlessly with a structure.


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