Twenty architects from around the world envision Beijing and the future in the exhibition Blueprint Beijing, curated by Ma Yansong.
Blueprint Beijing, the concluding exhibition of the first Beijing Biennial (2022) – curated by Ma Yansong and co-organized by MAD Architects – officially opened on January 13, 2023.
As the architecture section of the Beijing Biennial, the exhibition invites 20 main participating architects/artists from around the globe, presenting their ideas in a variety of media including architectural models, installations, photography and video. The exhibition also presents 8 architects and collectives showcasing visionary ideas through historic archives, as well as presenting 4 Chinese science fiction films with historic significance. Architects from different regions and generations responded to the curator's questions about the future and the city of Beijing, ultimately presenting their unique vision on the topic. The exhibition is a collective creation with the vast majority of works created as site-specific commissions or adapted reproductions. The works in the exhibition transcend geography and age so as to collide, dialogue and resonate with ideas and emotions in order to stimulate the viewer’s imagination about the future of the city.
“The main theme of Blueprint Beijing is the future. In the exhibition, one part is about the Beijing of the past that everyone is familiar with, and the other part is about the Beijing in everyone's imagination. We have juxtaposed the works of architects with idealistic visions and creative imagination about cities and buildings with historic visions from around the globe over the past century within one space. Although the site is not large the content is very dense, rich and informative. The opening of Blueprint Beijing in 2023 is also very much in line with the content of our exhibition, because the future must be full of imagination, full of energy, a more open and mutually entangled future.” – Ma Yansong
The blueprint, as an architect’s tool, refers to both the archive of history and the imagination of the future. Great architects transform reality through visionary thinking. Buildings are the largest and longest-lasting public medium in human society, and it is crucial to continuously push forward their pioneering nature, to be able to inspire and contrast with the ethos and culture of a city, a region and a nation. History is formed by our imagination of the future throughout the past. Through this exhibition, a key selection of inspiring movements is presented that developed in Beijing and around the globe, all envisioning the future. Progress in urbanism and architecture comes forth from the imagination of a better life. An architect's creative task is to find a new direction through the constant confrontation and pull between tradition and innovation, local and global, individual and group, preservation and development — it is an experiment that never ends.
The long-term goal of the exhibition is to create a platform for open and international dialogue within the professions of urbanism and architecture, as a pertinent reminder to look beyond differences and politics. While also creating space to rethink the future of China’s capital through an open, inclusive and engaging strategy that unites global voices with both established and emerging talent in China. In its concluding chapter the exhibition unveils a video installation that presents a manifesto of sorts, inviting participants to respond to the question of what connects our past to the future, the question of identity as an architect, the future of the profession and what Beijing stands for within this context. Ultimately the installation presents an open-ended discussion as a provocative conclusion to the exhibition, with the aim to open up communication, both locally and internationally, for a more open, inclusive and livable city.
The exhibition is open to the public from January 14, till March 12, 2023.
Cook Haffner Architecture Platform | Sir Peter Cook
COOP HIMMELB(L)AU | Wolf dPrix
FCJZ | Yung Ho Chang
Drawing Architecture Studio
MAD Architects | Ma Yansong + Dang Qun + Yosuke Hayano
Eric Owen Moss Architects
OPEN Architecture | Li Hu + Huang Wenjing
Atelier Alter Architects | Zhang Yingfan + Bu Xiaojun
Zaha Hadid Architects
People’s Architecture Office | He Zhe, James Shen, Zang Feng
Richard Buckminster Fuller
Joshua V. Hassel
Wang Jiayi + Roger Pigaut
Architectural History Advisor
The first Beijing Biennial 2022 Architecture Section
Curator: Ma Yansong
Location: M WOODS Hutong, Beijing, China
Public Date: 11am-7pm, January 14 - March 12, 2023
Curatorial: Fiona QI Ziying, WANG Yiqi, PENG Xie
Design: ZHENG Chengwen, YANG Xuebing, Edgar Navarrete S., Rozita KASHIRTSEVA, ZHANG Tong, YE Lanshan
Research and Film: LIU Danyang, LIU Guannan, Tammy XIE
and thanks to LI Shu, Vicky NING, MIAO Fangyi's contribution during the design process.
Construction and Installation Production: Beijing Zijin Qinghua Construction Engineering Co., Ltd
Printing: GREEN VIEW
Model Production: Shenzhen JYD Model Co., Ltd
Lighting: LIU Hongjian, HUO Xin
Curatorial Consultant and Research Support: Anouchka van DRIEL
Images © Zhu Yumeng, I-Ting, Jerry Chen
About 2022 Beijing Biennial “Symbiosis”
Sponsored by Beijing Cultural Investment Development Group Co., LTD., and organized by Beijing Chengqian Culture Property Investment Co., LTD. and Mu Mu (Beijing) Art Advisory LLC. 2022 Beijing Biennial, themed “Symbiosis”, aims to reflect on how human civilization and natural ecology should coexist, and how digital technology and creative design can intermix and develop. The Biennial hopes to present typical art topics and samples in Beijing, the national cultural center, and enrich the connotation of “Symbiosis” in the dimensions of space and time: “Symbiosis” of space showing the prosperity of the synchronic development of diversified art ecology in Beijing, and “Symbiosis” of time interpreting the diachronic development and prospect of Beijing’s art ecology from the past, the present to the future. Beijing, with its broad, open, and inclusive spirit, has formed a traditional and diversified artistic temperament of “harmony in diversity.” All kinds of art forms, including painting, sculptures, films and architectures etc., join in building a thriving art ecology in this city, interacting with one another and driving each other forward. 2022 Beijing Biennial choses M WOODS Hutong as a sub-venue, and presents Blueprint Beijing for the architecture section
About Ma Yansong
Born in 1975, Beijing, China
Ma Yansong is the Principle Architect and Founder of MAD Architects. Through his work, Ma is committed to creating a vision for the future city that is inspired by the spiritual and emotional needs of its residents. Over the past 18 years, Ma has gained worldwide attention in the architecture field for his international practice imbued with cultural consciousness. Signature projects include: Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Gardenhouse in Beverly Hills Los Angeles, UNIC Residential in Paris, Cover House Kindergarten in Aichi Japan, FENIX Museum of Migration in Rotterdam, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, etc. In China include: Harbin Opera House, Shenzhen Bay Cultural Park, Aiyue Music Hall, YueCheng Courtyard Kindergarten, Jiaxing Train Station, Quzhou Stadium etc.
Parallel to his design practice, he also explores the cultural values of cities and architecture through domestic and international solo exhibitions, publications, and art works. His works are part of numerous public collections, such as M+ Museum, Hong Kong and Centre Pompidou, Paris. Recent exhibitions include: Nine-Tiered Pagoda: Spatial and Visual Magic, Pingshan Art Museum, Shenzhen, China; Art at Fuliang 2021, Jingdezhen, China (2021); Design & Wonderous: On the Nature of Ornament, Shanghai Centre Pompidou, Shanghai, China (2020); Future and the Arts: AI, Robotics, Cities, Life - How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2020); Values of Design: China in the Making, Design Society, Shenzhen, China (2020); Mad X, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2019); Tunnel of Light, Echigo Tsumari Art Field Triennial, Japan (2018); Micro Garden, 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italy (2016); Verso Est: Chinese Architectural Landscape, MAXXI, Rome, Italy (2011); Living, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark (2011); Feelings Are Facts, Olafur Eliasson + Ma Yansong, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art , UCCA, Beijing, China (2010); China Design Now, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK (2008).