Jie Zi Yuan is the graduation design work of the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts Exhibition Design Studio. In the early stages, the team discussed the design theme and wanted to design a spatial work that integrates Western and Eastern cultures.
In the construction process, the studio adopted a mortise and tenon joint structure, which was frequently used in ancient Chinese architecture. After much discussion with the supervisor, the team chose the periodic table of elements as the theme. An element is the most basic component of all concrete objects in nature, while the periodic table of elements records the existence and change of everything in the world with its precision, science and absolute objectivity; it is a important cornerstone of Western science and technology.
However, in the Eastern cultures, people are more willing to record the world in a subjective and emotional way. In a classic work of Eastern culture, the ancient book "Painting Manual of the Mustard Seed Garden," ancient Chinese literati used lines to abstractly describe the forms and changes of things such as mountains, rivers, cloud, mist, trees, flowers, plants and animals.
The team hoped to combine these two very different cultural characteristics and methods of observation—to present the Western periodic table of elements in Eastern perceptual line language and to display relevant knowledge or background of each element in the manner of drawing scenes. Despite the different scenes, times and backgrounds of each element—modern rocket launchers, aircraft carriers, terminators, ancient alchemists and even the legendary underground palace of First Emperor of Qin—all appear in this exhibition at the same time.
The exhibition creates a parallel universe and "small world" that crosses ancient and modern times, integrating Eastern and Western cultures. Therefore, differences and contradictions caused by geography, culture and time have become the highlight of the team’s graduation design.
Zhang Shu (supervisor), Zuo Chao, Yun Zi Wei, Wu Xing Tong, Zhou Yuan