Publisher China Intercontinental Press
Edition First Edition
Page material gelatine plate paper
Chinese House Has anyone seriously observed the houses scattered in China's metropolis, counties or towns？ Huge in number, these plain buildings have nothing to catch news headlines.History hasn't conferred them any special meaning, nor can they supply food for debates with ingenious design. However, such common houses represent the fundamental aesthetic awareness of contemporary Chinese.
Door, Window, Wall
We regard Chinese houses as a medium of social aesthetic values.Through recording and description, we seekafter a visualized analytical system by revealing the hidden meaning of individual houses. How can we find theaesthetic values of Chinese houses？ We believe that by representing matters as they are, we are interpretingthem. Houses are the most obvious and handy objects of observation in our living space. A Chinese houseembodies the culture and customs of the Chinese people, more importantly, it reflects the fundamentalaesthetic views of the Chinese. What we did is to observe and present the images.Among Chinese architectures, the most iconic one is perhaps thelqan'anmen Rostrum, followed by the Bird Nest thathas recently become a national symbol, or the new building for CCTV designed by Rem Koolhaas. But how manypeople have closely observed the little-known common houses that abound in quantity in cities, counties, townsand villages？They can't provide news pegs; history hasn't bestowed the plain houses with any memorable events;nor can they offer any sparkling architectural concepts worthy of discussion. Compared with the famous landmarks, numerous ordinary houses have provided the space for most Chinese people's daily activities: living, doing business, enjoying leisure, working, studying, even paying homage to deities... These houses that are hard to describe andneglected by most people have formed the normal state of Chinese architecture.China is experiencing waves of construction unseen for centuries or even millenniums. From infrastructureconstruction with national investment to real estate business that affects the life of every Chinese, the topic ofChinese architecture covers a wide spectrum. Discussions over Chinese architecture have been heated, withmost studies launched from the urban point of view. All the debates, experiments and earnest appeals havetaken the city as the assumed target. But even inside the urban sphere, the explorations have been confinedwithin official buildings and massive commercial structures. On the contrary, common Chinese houses havebeen ignored with their familiarity and plainness. We have been walking in cities and villages, taking photos ofgrassroots houses and trying to reveal their aesthetic values.
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