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Wang Shu – Amateur Architecture Studio. Exhibition at the Louisiana Museum

Place: HUMLEBÆK, Country: Denmark
Louisiana Museum of Art
The Architect’s Studio | Wang Shu-Amateur Architecture Studio
Exhibition at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Images courtesy of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

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The Architect’s Studio | Wang Shu-Amateur Architecture Studio
Exhibition at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Wang Shu-Amateur Architecture Studio” is the first of a series of monographic exhibitions entitled “The Architect’s Studio”, dedicated to contemporary architecture and to a new generation of architects that will be invited at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, to shape an image of their own practice.
The exhibition series starts in China, more specifically at Hangzhou, capital of the eastern Zhejiang province, where Wang Shu and his wife Lu Wenyu established the “Amateur Architecture Studio” almost twenty years ago. In 2012 Wang Shu was honoured with the world’s most prestigious architectural award, the Pritzker Prize.

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above + cover-image: The Architect’s Studio | Wang Shu – Amatuer Architecture Studio;   Louisiana Museum of Modern Art,  9 February / 30 April, 2017.
Amateur Architecture Studio, Wa Shan Guesthouse / China Academy of Art Xiangshan Campus, Hangzhou, 2013. Photos: Iwan Baan

Based on a manifesto for so-called Amateur Architecture, Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu work with architecture rooted in the anonymous rural architecture and the available materials such as bamboo, local brick and rammed-earth walls. At the same time, classic Chinese virtues like calligraphy, garden architecture and landscape painting play a crucial role in the philosophy of Amateur Architecture Studio. Despite its culture-sustaining potential, Wang Shu’s architecture is at the same time characterized by transformation, the breaking-down of boundaries and disruptions of scale. The formal idiom can have an almost futuristic character, while the building materials may be hundreds of years old, and the construction techniques a hypermodern transformation of building traditions inherited and perfected over millennia.

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The Architect’s Studio | Wang Shu – Amateur Architecture Studio; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art,  9 February / 30 April, 2017.
Installation views from the exhibition. Photo: Poul Buchard 

Including models, video, photographs, texts and filmed interviews with Wang Shu explaining and illustrating the studio’s processes and many complex building processes, the exhibition has been created in close collaboration with Amateur Architecture Studio and is built up around three main themes aiming to shape a comprehensive presentation of the ambitions, processes and inspirations of the studio.

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The Architect’s Studio | Wang Shu – Amatuer Architecture Studio, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art,  9 February / 30 April, 2017.
Amatuer Architecture Studio, Zhongshan Road Renovation, Hangzhou, 2009. Photo: Iwan Baan.

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The Architect’s Studio | Wang Shu – Amatuer Architecture Studio; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art,  9 February / 30 April, 2017.
Amatuer Architecture Studio, Wa Shan Guesthouse / China Academy of Art Xiangshan Campus, Hangzhou, 2013.Photo: Iwan Baan.

The first theme, AMATEUR ARCHITECTURE, is a kind of introduction to and collage of the sources of inspiration and fundamental principles characteristic of Amateur Architecture Studio’s work. Wang Shu’s ‘own’ school, the immense Xiangshan Campus, plays a central role here, as an architectural work, but also as an example of the studio’s very literal effort to preserve and perpetuate China’s long, proud cultural traditions.

The second theme of the exhibition, ARCHITECTURE AS RESISTANCE, presents a collection of material studies, almost all of which related to two of the studio’s most recent projects.
As a condition for taking on the task of building a large cultural centre, museum and archive in Fuyang, Wang Shu insisted on being granted permission to initiate a restoration project in the remote mountain village of Wencun.

The third theme, HISTORY RECONSTRUCTED, with the signature project Ningbo History Museum as a case, shows how the studio brings increasingly forgotten history back into modern architecture. The museum is of course primarily a spatial framing of the thousand-year-old history of the Ningbo area, but also an example of the material consciousness that has now become synonymous with Amateur Architecture Studio. Several villages in the area were demolished to make way for new building, but the materials from the destroyed villages have been gathered and re-used in the spectacular facade of the Ningbo History Museum.

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The Architect’s Studio| Wang Shu – Amatuer Architecture Studio; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art,  9 February / 30 April, 2017.
Amatuer Architecture Studio, Ningbo History Museum, Ningbo, 2008, Photos: Iwan Baan 

 

The exhibition at the Louisiana Museum will be opend until April 30, 2017


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The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is a Danish museum in Humlebæk, 25 miles north of Copenhagen, world-famous for both its collection and its sculpture park




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