Mu Xin Art Museum

Design 2011 - 2015
Construction 2012 - 2015
6,700 sqm / 72,118 sqft

Located in the historical scenic water town, of Wuzhen in northern Zhejiang Province, the 6,700m2 art museum is dedicated to the renowned hometown artist/writer Mu Xin.

Mu Xin, was a complex and inspiring figure, he was not only a celebrated artist of abstract landscapes and paintings but equally accomplished as a scholar, poet and writer. The building, is not only inspired by the complexity of the artist’s work but also his writing which was shaped by his lifelong existence between cultures, both in his native and adoptive countries. Mu Xin was not only affected by personal and external turmoil surrounding his formative years, but also by his detention during the Cultural Revolution in the early 1970’s and his self-exile to the West. Influenced by these experiences and his classical upbringing, Mu Xin created space. Space, not only in the evocative multilayered painting of abstract landscapes but also in his writings reflecting the mental expansion of the mind within real physical constraints.

The ancient Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal nurtured the splendid culture of Wuzhen, and the long historical value of the well preserved city south of Yangtze River. To this day, one experiences a dense landscape of centuries old canals, streets, markets, courtyards, bridges and verandas. Taking a cue from the urban fabric of the 1,000 year old ancient water town of Mu Xin’s childhood, the museum itself is a landscape of intersecting experiences. A series of cast in place colored architectural concrete volumes in varying sectional relationship to the canal and “street,” house these experiences as singular galleries and program elements inviting visitors to wander through the “landscape.”

With the ever changing quality of the spaces created by the intersection of the volumes, “street” boundaries and the water’s edge, the visitor experiences an expansion of space not only in the physical realm but also as a bridge into the complex world of Mu Xin.

Photo Credits: Shen Zhonghai