Artmap Director Harry Partridge gave a compelling talk last month on the nature of public art at a cultural event hosted by Chinese Architects and Urban Planners, IAPA.

The event, held at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, was titled ‘A Journey of Design – Reinterpretation of Oriental Traditional Culture in Modern Context’ and was run as part of the Sydney Chinese New Year festival. The event’s purpose was to ‘strengthen interaction between South-China and Australian architects, creating a platform for idea exchange and dialogue.’

Harry’s starting point was to demonstrate, with an orange, the staggering distances between the earth and sun, and between electrons and protons; how our macro and nano universes consist almost completely of space. He then drew the parallel of a space within each of us, a place of stillness and quiet; and of the potential opening to a larger space. We can touch this place at times of heightened awareness – such as when viewing the grandeur of Nature, at times of meditative rapture or when entering into the presence of a real piece of art. Art has the power to take us there, the power to enable us to see and learn in non-verbal ways. Art is visual philosophy; it tells us the story of who we are.

Other guest speakers at the event included Dr. Henry Tsang the former deputy Sydney Mayor, Tony Chenchow of Chenchow Little Architects and esteemed Australian architect Professor Philip Cox.

Artmap continues to strengthen our ties to China with regular visits to the region and contributions to events like this. IAPA is a Chinese Australian architecture firm founded by Paul Bo Peng who has a Master of Architecture from UNSW.

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