Sunday, June 07, 2009

Hanzhou architecture—Lecture by Mathieu Borysevicz

Last week in class, photographer Mathieu Borysevicz visited us to talk about his recent works in China. Borysevicz's interest in signage in urban areas have reached between New York City, Beijing, Nebraska, and Shanghai. For the past few years, Borysevicz has spent time researching in Hangzhou and compiling a photo archive of the city’s architecture and signage for his new book, Learning From Hangzhou, due to premiere this summer. The book is well-organized with collages of colorful photographs bound to tickle your senses. I hadn’t realized that Hangzhou was such a modge-podge of architecturally savvy design and innovation! I was impressed to see Borysevicz’s photos of a Paris-inspired Hanzhou, as well as hints of Venice. Loved the photographs of the Hangzhou Architecture Design school. I particularly enjoy seeing the modern chic Chinese design in constructing smart and innovative buildings with steel and wood and bamboo. I thought his concept of photographing mirroring images for billboards was interesting, particularly for his project in Nebraska. In a recent project in Shanghai, Borysevicz made a collage of photographs he had taken of local construction workers and placed their smiling faces on the outside of the construction site for passerbys to view, as if seeing what was going on behind the construction gate. Borysevicz also interpreted this as a way of giving character to the construction of the building. I thought the concept was pretty interesting, although afterward it seemed that the construction workers were a bit shy about having their faces posted on the side of the street. I thought it was kind of fun and gave them due credit for the amazing work they do.

Mathieu Borysevicz on the web:

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