Age of Mirage_an architecture research
A mirage is a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce a displaced image of distant objects or the sky. In which Sir Thomas More, the earliest description of Utopia, explain a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean after the great sailing, an un-real land.
Since the end of the 20th century, the world has begun to show the trend of globalization. Major cities started to develop under rapid speed in China (or in Asia). New ideas of environmental planning have been implemented to change urban landscape. Old streets have been gradually replaced by newly built roads, old houses have been dismantled to give space to skyscrapers. The impact of the changes was profound to me, a person who had lived overseas for years. I can no longer prove that my memories were not merely dreams. All the images residing in me looked different in reality.
Furthermore, the powerful images of the new cities caught my attention. It is stimulating to see the buildings that consisted of western, eastern, ancient and modern elements. the designs are reckless. It seems that the oriental and occidental ideas were shallowly mixed together without sophisticated plans. It could either be the propaganda behave of the estate agent, or a crackpot though from a peasant after he got rich. However, these building seem to represent a certain level of aesthetic agreement that urban dwellers enjoy. As a sign of modernizing, this particular art form has been widely adapted and massively spread. Like a fierce beast, effectively devour other existent old architectures.
After I start photographing in different city of China about the new architecture. The idea of creating one virtual space was inspired. The image starts with post-industrial landscape, and eventually fill with a lot of new model of ‘ideal home’.
In the research on people’s ideal homes, it appears that this specific phenomenon of modernization is related to time. Under the rapid speed of development, most people don’t have time to visualize even the near future, they live in the present tense. If they could own a house located in a community like Venice, and then walk ten minutes away to Beijing Hutong for shops and food. Then it won’t bother them whether it obeys the culture rules or whatsoever. It’s the simply emotional needs, right for the time and space. Simply as eat an apple with a piece of worm in it when you’re hungry.
All the buildings from this animated virtual space are based on the real existing buildings. No invention, but a recreation. It is an artificial environment where the buildings are merely shadow and mirrors at the same time. Like the Mirage, the city doesn’t exist, but anyhow it came from something, or somewhere real.