Yi Garden I,12th Venice Biennale

Design:  2010

Construction:  2010

Location:  Venice, Italy

To explore the poetical expression of traditional Chinese gardens through contemporary and futuristic way.

The physical artifact of the Venice Biennale Chinese pavilion is intended to express classical Chinese gardens in an abstract way. It opens to the public widely as well as holds to itself tightly, obscuring the boundary of spaces and makes the one as a whole.


People experience the spaces not only visually but also physically. Ideas and feelings are transmitted through formless closure and disclosure which shares the same spirit with traditional Chinese calligraphy.


Our aim is to express the “gathering space” in a poetical way, which later become the “matrix of lights” comprised of 1,300 glass bars. The transparent lower parts of the bars and semi-transparent upper parts make it look like flow in the air. When viewed at a distance and different angles, the matrix changes its shapes just like it was slowly breathing. The pavilion captures the spirit of old Chinese gardens and calligraphy, expressing the abstract ideas of space and form.




Architect: Studio Zhu-Pei


Design Principal: Zhu Pei

Project Team: He Fan, Liu Wentian, Ke Jun, Heon Ju Seo, Geoffrey Hughes


Artist Consultants: Fan Di’an, Wang Mingxian, Zhu Xiaodi

Lighting Artistic Consultant: Xiao Lihe

Structural Consultant: Rory McGowan (Arup)

Construction Consultant: Zheng Jianwei