Chinese Pavilion at Venice
Architecture Biennale 2012

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Chinese Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

Bright lights, prime numbers and a map of the universe are installed amongst the abandoned oil tanks of a former shipbuilding workshop in what's now the Chinese Pavilion for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012.

Chinese Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

Top and above: Sequence by Shao Weiping

The title of the exhibition is Originaire, for which curator Fang Zhenning asked five architects and artists to create installations that reference the origins of the natural world.

Chinese Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

Above: Lightopia by Xu Dongliang

A lighting installation by architect Shao Weiping fills the pavilion's central aisle and is a linear representation of his firm's design for the Phoenix International Media Centre, a building shaped like a never-ending loop.

Chinese Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

Above and below: Palace in the Sky by Tao Na

A series of square magnets cover the wall beyond, where artist Tao Na has jumbled a map of Beijing together with a map of the galaxy and a view of Mars.

Chinese Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

Visitors are invited to move the pieces around, creating a single image that unites the three places.

Chinese Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

Wei Chunyu uses lighting projection to display all the prime numbers below the value of 1000 on the floor, while the tower of red light by artist Xu Dongliang is intended to reference the red light of the night sky in prehistoric times.

Chinese Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

Above and below: Variation by Wei Chunyu

Finally, architect Wang Yun filled the garden outside with 36 mirrored cubes, each inscribed with holes that either spell out the names of planets or map out the patterns of traditional village settlements.

Chinese Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

Other pavilions we've featured from the biennale include Russia, the Netherlands and Kuwait.

Chinese Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

See all our stories from the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 »