Building in China investigates significant moments in the continuing architectural dialogue between China and the West, between different generations of architects, and among contemporary designers in China. The first part of the exhibition, presented at Penn’s Architectural Archives, focuses on historical representation, and features a series of buildings designed by the first generation of Chinese architects trained at Penn, many of which remain unpublished. They illustrate the architects’ responses to the international modern movement in the first half of the 20th century as well as the ways they intervened in the growing Chinese cities.
The second part of the exhibition, on view at Penn’s Fisher Fine Arts Library, includes six projects by architect-educators Yung Ho Chang, co-founder of Atelier FCJZ, and Shu Wang, co-founder at Amateur Architecture Studio, which are emblematic of contemporary Chinese architectural practices. These artists’ studios, museums, college campus, and village revitalization demonstrate their attempts at incorporating and balancing modernity and locality on the small, medium, and large scales, and reflects the architects’ ideals for contemporary Chinese urban and rural societies.