Zhuzhi (bamboo branch) is the name of a tune and one of the Yuefu poems. It evolved from the folk songs in the ancient Ba and Yu areas. Li Yuxi, a poet in the Tang Dynasty, composed a poem for the tune when he served as the prefectural governor of Kuizhou to depict the climate, natural phenomena and customs. It was performed by the singer with dancers accompanied by flute and drum. Kuizhou (now Fengjie, Chongqing) was the political, economic, cultural, and military center of eastern Sichuan in the Tang Dynasty. Rongzhou (now Yibin) was a place of strategic importance in southern Sichuan in the Tang Dynasty and the first city along the Yangtze River. Rongzhou and Kuizhou are so closely connected by the Yangtze River geographically and culturally that the "mountains of Ba and waters of Shu" have enjoyed a reputation since ancient times. Many literati and scholars traveled here, such as Li Bai, Du Fu, Bai Juyi, Liu Yuxi, Su Shi, and Huang Tingjian, and wrote countless poems about this region. Zhuzhi is closely related to the music workshop as the folk song, and to the academy as the poem. Bamboo branches are important not only to bamboo itself, but also to traditional Chinese literature. The concrete and abstract imageries of bamboo branches coincided with the architectural purpose (music workshop, academy and meditation) and the scene that "the bamboo trees on the hills around the village were about to reach the sky with tender shoots like clusters of green clouds" greatly impressed us.
"Bamboo Branch Academy" is created by remodeling two old houses in southern Sichuan. The functions of the music workshop, academy, and meditation should be well combined to separate Bamboo Branch Academy into two parts. The house far away from the road is serene and properly protected. It is renovated and turned into an academy for meditation. The one near the road and thus noisy is severely damaged and should be rebuilt into the music workshop. The two academies are connected by a corridor to create an "image" of "surrounding the house" and a multi-functional outdoor space to add vitality.
The modesty of bamboo shares something in common with zen. The idea of bamboo knots is turned into the form of the interior and exterior of the academy for meditation. The image of bamboo knots is materialized with the semi-outdoor yard, the porch with eave and the ventilated yet non-penetrated inner room. The idea of the unrivaled nature of bamboo is integrated with that of liveliness of the music workshop. The idea of "bamboo groves casting shadows and flanking a winding path to tranquility" blends into the image of the whole space of the music workshop, and is represented in an abstract way by the bamboo thickets in the yard, the white steel pipes in the porch, the indoor glass patio and bamboo installations.
The undulating grayish blue tiled roof, the embodiment of the image that the "house is surrounded," is compatible with the "hills covered with bamboo forests" in the vicinity, and a response to the requirements of local people for "prosperity of the new and the old." The relocation and integration of plantain trees, bamboo groves and farm paths endow Bamboo Branch Academy with a gentle heart, which, as a new member, is once again embraced by the village!
Bamboo Branch Academy is expected to shape the scenery of and add "poetic and pictorial splendor" to Yongjiang Village, Yibin.