Building China: Five Projects, Five Stories
February 26 – May 31, 2008
China is a common place that is still not well understood, a nation that has over the last half a century dealt with an impressive progress in economy, ideology, and population. With the rise of the Communist Party in 1949, building became an outlet for ideology, and individual artistry came to be seen as a dangerous form of bourgeois decadence. Even after constraints had loosened in the 1990s, architects were required to top every new skyscraper with a traditional tiled rooftop. But now, as China is looking for a new national identity, the one common thread that runs through its multitude of recent buildings is an obsession with the idea of newness itself. The optimism of today far outweighs the constraints of the past and China today is a place of exploration and intrigue. The exhibition will investigate this by presenting the work of 5 leading voices among the ‘new generation’ of Chinese architects and will not only showcase architecture built in the past few years by these young emerging architects, but more importantly will show how and why these buildings were built, who the clients are, and why the architects were chosen for the projects. Each building will discover and reveal something new about the Chinese built environment and will tell a story in order to give NYC architects and practitioners a deeper understanding of the building process in China.