Intricate geometric patterns and rich hues distinguish the woven textiles of China’s Tujia people, who call the Wuling Mountains home in western Hunan. In the nearby city of Zhangjiajie, the new China Tujia Brocade Museum will be dedicated to the art of Xilan Kapu, or Tujia brocade, to celebrate the culture’s distinctive creativity and preserve an endangered craft. In a remarkable architectonic installation called “The Flower of Tujia,” 150,000 meters of red brocade thread creates an awe-inspiring centerpiece for the main space.
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Designed by Yi Chen and Muchen Zhang of Beijing-based design studio YI+MU, the artwork spans more than 1,000 square meters along a grid of 20 beams, allowing the fiber to alternately reveal and conceal the geometry of stairwells and windows as one moves around. “The diamond-shape structure inspired by the iconic pattern of the Tujia brocade is clearly visible from all angles,” the studio says. Symbolically interpreting the 30-step process of Xilan Kapu into a three-dimensional piece, the design unifies and highlights the museum’s interior and sparks a sense of wonder that verges on the spiritual, a key aspect of YI+MU’s philosophy.
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