VERSO EST. Chinese Architectural Landscape

VERSO EST. Chinese Architectural Landscape
29 July – 23 October 2011
Gallery 1
exhibition curator Fang Zhenning
organized by MAXXI, NAMOC – National Art Museum of China, Beijing and CIEA/CAEG – China International Exhibition Agency of China Arts and Entertainment Group, Beijing

The exhibition VERSO EST. Chinese Architectural Landscape reflects the physiognomy of China’s architectural landscapes from the past decade. The MAXXI will present architects and artists who have developed and matured at the same speed as the processes of national growth, with projects that speak about the primary aspects of Chinese society and the life of the Chinese people.

VERSO EST takes shape at a crucial moment: as stated by the English newspaper the Financial Times, in 2010 China invested over one trillion dollars in new construction, promoting and creating a real estate boom that transformed it into a superpower and leader in this field.

Within this context the exhibition gains a precise historical meaning and intends to underline the role of contemporary Chinese architecture in the international panorama, pursuing the fil rouge traced by 12 themes presented on large banners running along the curvilinear walls of the Museum’s gallery:

  • Urban Transition
  • Rem Koolhaas and the New Architectural Wave
  • Emerging Chinese Architecture
  • Shan Shui City
  • Post-Disaster Reconstruction
  • Architecture and Memory
  • Architectural Rationalism
  • Poetic space and Architecture
  • Museum Building
  • Public Art and Landscape
  • Mankind and Nature
  • Architectural Photography

Models, animations, photographs, installations, videos, large digital prints and published material will illustrate the evolution of Chinese architecture and its complex processes of construction.

What is more, the exhibition will also exhibit the work of a number of international architects, whose important projects have modified the Chinese skyline, including Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Steven Holl and Rem Koolhaas.

To involve the general public in the transformation of the Chinese urban landscape, a number of multimedia stations and programmes developed for the occasion will invite visitors to interact with the themes presented in the exhibition.

The exhibition will also be accompanied by a publication and the lectures Defend the Differences, by the architect Wang Shu and The Turning Point in China’s Architecture, by the show’s curator Fang Zhenning.


Wang Shu, Lu Wenyu /The Amateur Architecture Studio, Xiangshan Campus, China Academy of Art, Xiangshan, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, 2004-2007

Shao Weiping / Architecture Creation Studio, Phoenix International Media Center, Beijing, China, 2011

MA Yansong / MAD, Urban Forest, Chongqing, China, 2009