This exhibition is located in the Hanshan Art Museum in Suzhou. We are asked by the Buddha artist Jiang Sheng to design the exhibition space for his exhibition entitled “Inflorescence”.
The main exhibition area of this exhibition was a rectangular space with a length and width of about 35m*7m. The original space had a lot of curved surface, and a narrow gap was opened in the middle of the ceiling, and the exposed building structure inside could be seen. This was our first impression of the site.
Considering the particularity of Buddha statues as exhibits, we thought the space needs a sense of sacredness, and we also hoped the overall feeling of space be quiet, peaceful and restrained, just like Jiang Sheng's art piece. Therefore, compared with the Buddha statue, the feeling of the whole space should be weakened, which means, the final human visual focus should be always given to the Buddha statue, not to the space.
So we thought of adding a dark, narrow volume in the middle of the exhibition hall as the main streamline space for the exhibition, embedded in the middle of the opening of the ceiling. The long, dark corridor is actually a space for depriving people of their senses. The human vision is locked at the two Buddha statues at the end of the corridor. And in this case, people's spirit can also be relatively concentrated. This 1.4-meter-wide corridor is just enough for two people walking side by side. Inside the corridor, the wall are dark blue painted, and the blue velvet-like texture is slightly exposed without lighting inside.
All the Buddha statue exhibits are scattered around this corridor in the bright outer space. People appreciate the external Buddha statue works through the windows or doors on the wall from inside the corridor. These caves echo the frame-view technique of traditional Suzhou gardens. When people stop to watch them, the Buddha statues and the caves form one and another pictures. Especially when the tall and white Sakyamuni Buddha statues at the end of the corridor are cut by the long and slender door when look from a distance, only part of the statues can be seen, and only when people getting closer they can see all of the Buddha.
In the space outside the corridor, we added some curved platform echoing the curved space of the site itself. Some platforms are covered by white semi-transparent curtains to form a private Buddha display space, while others are completely open. When people walk through the door and into the private Buddha space, they can feel a moment of peace with the Buddha statue alone; and when they walk into the open platform, they can appreciate the visual level formed by the Buddha image and space from the outside.
A new olfactory sensory experience is also added to the whole space, that is, the tea leaves of Wuyi Mountain covering the ground, which after baked whose fragrant throughout the space. Dark tea leaves form a withered form on the ground like soil, in sharp contrast to the original fresh flowers surrounding on the Buddha statue, symbolizing a fatal cycle from life to death. The white curtains fall directly on the tea leaves, forming a ambiguous boundary between indoor and outdoor.
The tiles space is the main part of the tactile design in the exhibition space. By raising the full tile plan to the height that human hand can reach, people can watch and touch the wonderful texture on the tiles at a close distance. These textures are inspired by the clothing on Buddha statue, and with the light green of tiles, is just like the ripples on the water, which makes people feel peace and quiet.