Tadao Ando Architect & Associates has created the design for He Art Museum (HEM), which is the first art museum dedicated to southern China’s regional Lingnan culture. Located in Shunde, Guangdong province in southern China, the project founded by He Jianfeng, aims to become a gateway for the arts.
The new museum will home the private collection of the He family, consisted of over 400 artworks and commissions by renowned international and Chinese artists. A Cantonese opera with theatrical face painting and Cantonese cuisine will also be included.
Inspired by the local culture and architecture, Tadao Ando based his conception on “ancient Chinese cosmology, philosophy, western style’s use of light and Lingnan’s terrain”.
HEM with its circular form, was made from a series of stacked disks and has a double helix spiral staircase at its centre. Natural light is flowing from the central “sky well” to the exhibition spaces. This atrium “gives a nod to the traditional Chinese architectural principles and creates a modern interpretation that can reinvigorate architectural heritage from both the east and west”.
All the exhibition spaces are circular, except for the square gallery on the ground floor that includes an open plan bookstore and a café. A 300-square-meter education area will be open for formal and informal conversation and independent study.
Because of the geographic location of the region, water is an important part of the garden design. Replicating the waterside pavilions of the Lingnan’s heritage, the HEM is wrapped by a pond and accessed via a peripatetic pathway.
HEM opens its doors on March 21 this year with an exhibition curated by Feng Boyi, entitled “From The Mundane World”.