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20 Nov 2023
Shenzhen art museum opens exhibition showcasing work of MAD Architects
By Tom Walker
Shenzhen art museum opens exhibition showcasing work of MAD Architects
The exhibition occupies an expansive space of more than 3,000sq m
Photo: MAD Architects/Shenzhen Museum of Contemporary Art and Urban Planning
Shenzhen Museum of Contemporary Art and Urban Planning (MoCAUP) has opened an exhibition which provides a retrospective of the research and practices of MAD Architects.

Called Ma Yansong: Landscapes in Motion, the exhibition occupies an expansive space of more than 3,000sq m and takes visitors on a journey through 52 projects spanning almost two decades.

MAD Architects is led by Ma Yansong, Dang Qun and Yosuke Hayano.

The exhibition is the MoCAUP’s first solo exhibition of architecture since opening in 2016.

There are four separate, but connected, sections to the exhibition.

It commences with a thought-provoking introduction, which features more than 180 questions, posed by current and previous architects working for MAD.

The questions touch on topics related to urban development, architecture, daily life, the role of architects, the future and dreams.

This is followed by section one, called “Dialogue,” which presents seven of MAD's urban public projects, such as the Shenzhen Bay Culture Park and the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

The other sections are “Progress,” showcasing MAD projects which are either under construction or completed; “Feelings are Facts,” introducing 15 design and land art projects; and “Rhapsody,” which weaves together 12 projects – such as Beijing 2050, Hutong Bubble, and Floating Island – to form a living rhapsody about the city.

Explaining the exhibition’s motif, Ma Yansong said: "Architecture and cities are not abstract scientific technologies but real settings where life unfolds.

"They represent feelings, ambience, and time. They carry traits of living beings; thus they are full of energy, flow, dynamism, and uncertainty.

"Architecture is alive, growing with the earth, endowed with life, rich in emotions, perceptive of time and compassionate to everything.

"The goal of this exhibition is to use architecture as a conduit to explore cultural life, allowing us to probe our inner selves while observing the dynamic, diverse and fluid cultural landscape of contemporary society.”

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