Press release

Jean Nouvel, in my head, in my eye… belonging…

From November 7th, 2019 to March 1st, 2020, the Power Station of Art presents, in collaboration with Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, the first solo exhibition in China of Pritzker Architecture Prize winner and Venice Architecture Biennale Golden Lion Award recipient, French architect Jean Nouvel. Rather than an usual architectural display, Nouvel will transform the exhibition room into a theater filled with light and shadow for his exhibition titled Jean Nouvel, in my head, in my eye… belonging… It will debut a three-and-a-half-hour film produced by Nouvel, as well as six works of art based on his architecture, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in what inspired Nouvel’s design practice, thus entering his thoughts and emotions.

With more than 200 construction projects worldwide, Jean Nouvel is perhaps one of the most prolific architects in the world. However, Nouvel has always pursued change and innovation. Since the beginning of his career, he has continuously opposed internationally sterotyped architecture. Nouvel instead pays attention to the local context and emotion of buildings. With the help of new technologies and materials, he creates a harmonious relationship between his buildings, the surrounding environment, and their historical context that resonates with people. For Nouvel, light is an important architectural element. He excels in using light to reveal the complexity and diversity of different spaces in the building and to create a unique narrative of fluidity.

Nouvel often mentions that the roles of architects and film directors are similar, and that the process of creating a building is like shooting a movie. Making use of his first exhibition in China, Jean Nouvel has achieved his “dream of directing”—his first film will premiere at the Power Station of Art. The three-and-a-half hour film features more than 100 construction projects by Nouvel around the world. Through poetic shots and montages accompanied by the architect's dream-like narration, the film is a reflection of Nouvel's architectural career and shows his concern for the world and life. Originating in his self-consciousness, thought, and imagination, Nouvel believes that this exhibition will be “a rebellion against orthodoxy.” Supported by video as a medium, the variety of situations in Nouvel’s mind are transferred into a physical form and rhythm, making his efemeral memories become eternal and inspire new discussions.

In addition to the film, the exhibition will present works of art based on six representative buildings from Nouvel's creative career, namely the “Lucerne Culture and Convention Center;” the “Tête Défense;” the “Tour Sans Fins;” the “Fondation Cartier pour l'art Contemporain” in Paris; the “Galeries Lafayette” department store in Berlin; and the“53W53” glass tower which, among other, hosts as an extension to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

As a part of the PSA series “Architecture & City” Exihibitions and Researches, this exhibition will not only present the architect’s cultural standing and emotional belonging in a different way, but also showcase how light and shadow magiccan illuminate the emotion and power of architecture, opening up multiple approaches to understanding architecture for the audience.


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