The Sifang Art Museum, designed by Steven Holl Architects, is a museum about parallax and the body's movement through space. Sited in the lush green landscape of the Pearl Spring near Nanjing, China, the site and courtyard are planned by strategically placed bamboo formed concrete walls that seem to criss-cross in your path, forcing perspectives to change dramatically as you move toward the entrance of the museum. This mysterious feeling confounds your idea of a vanishing point and is directly inspired by the 13th century Chinese paintings of parallel perspectives, in which the viewer travels with the painting. In contrast, as you enter the museum, the experience of the upper galleries is reversed. Fixed perspectives spiral you around the space and the curated artwork and culminate with the distant view of the city of Nanjing.
Holl says, "A place of reflection about art should be a place of reflection about the spiritual dimension of life," and this film introduces the viewers to this ethereal spiritual experience. Birds chirp in the silence of the landscape, the museum glows like a lantern on top of a hill, and perspectives challenge the existence of the very moment you are in.