The space of Amorphe Uni is inspired by the spontaneous experience of garden visiting in the old days. The composition of the space is a reminisce and recurrence of the memory of garden visiting. Gardens are referred to as the oldest utopia by Foucault: a substantial field with a focus on rules with no specific models. It presents a reflection of the spiritual world, an unconventional space where reality meets fantasy. Just like residential areas, gardens have similar attributes of space and meanings of shelter in relation to the notion of all-inclusiveness. When someone walks into the garden, all the distress is fenced off by the circular structure.
There are two lake stones outside the door, one inlaid in the wall while another one stands vertically. From time immemorial, lake stone is the symbol of gardens and cavernous mansions, which sets the tone for the experience of the rest of the veiled space. After pushing the gate open, one can witness an inclined wall extending all the way inside, revealing the deep and serene space and capacity behind the door.
After going through the aisle formed by the gate and the inclined wall, here comes an open area. Presented one by one in front of the viewer are the vertical pond water, the hollow cavern, the building in geometrical shapes, the precipitous cliff, and the flat terrace. With a sense of familiarity yet obscurity, this is a real dreamland, an imaginary world of miniature.
The space is composed of multiple internal lines with an intention of squeezing a constantly-changing multidimensional garden visiting experience into a tight space, reflecting on the physical activities of visiting and sightseeing in the real garden.
During the process of sightseeing, the eyeliner sometimes gets blocked by the screens and sometimes winds its way further as the terrain changes. The rate of heartbeat and breath is then adjusted.
Walking up the stairs, one can realize the entire layout of the space is becoming clearer. The exhibition hall is centered by the “pond water” in the middle, presenting a concentric layout. The terrains with a variety of different themes are the vista points for the viewers as well as the exhibits being viewed.
When fatigue strikes, one can move his/her steps towards the tearoom. Beaming through the narrow windows, the outdoor light appears to be slim and dim. With a cup of tea in the artisan style in hand and occasionally glancing outside the window, the energy level of an individual will gradually recover to a state of utter calmness and stability.
Project address: Suzhou, China
Lead designer: Xiangyu Wang
Project completion time: 2021
Logo: XIZIS Brand Design
Luminaire design: Xudong Ma
Wall installation: Ben&Aja Blanc Studio (US)
Embroidery: Jiangnan First Embroidery
Object: Benwu Gallery