Gardens are mirror images of nature casted into the human world, composed by landscape and pavilions, where the animated play of “nature” and “artifacts” is fitted to spontaneity in movement and for poised advance or retreat. Today, we’ve “crafted” a garden derived from conceptions of design echoing those of “casa” (home) and “continuity”, in which we aspire to present the perpetuity of “casa” from the perspectives of nature and artifacts, knitted into one. However, we do not seek to bluntly provide answer to "how can a home be made to last"，for that revelation of how one’s self and home are linked is to be reached after you, the observer, have passed through this "garden" and come to perceive the essence of My Casa (My Home). We believe that the answer shall be diverse, evolving over time.
"Continuity connotes three levels of meanings: continuity in the coexistence with nature, in the life and existence as an individual of human, and in humanistic values, that is, the extension of personal awareness." – Ju Bin.
For My Casa: Crafted Garden & Continuity, architect Ju Bin conceived the entirety of an exterior site of over 800 m2 plus the interior of over 400 m2 as a contemporary garden. It contains two dimensions: “Nature” and“Artifacts”; and three fragments:“My Possessions”(investigation of things), “My Minds” (righteousness of heart), and “My Bodies” (self-cultivation). And finally, “I Am...” (aspiration) is an open proposition for each observer to fill in their own answers.
Craft - Path & Pavilion In his Upon the Gardens of Epicurus (published in 1692), Sir William Temple remarked on the “sharawadgi” (natural irregularity) of Chinese gardens: "(The Chinese) their greatest reach of imagination, is employed in contriving figures, where the beauty shall be great, and strike the eye, ... they have a particular word to express it; and where they find it hit their eye at first sight, they say the sharawadgi is fine or is admirable, or any such expression of esteem." Historically, oriental gardens have pursued the ideal of "from nature but beyond nature", by the mastery of “skill in the ability to follow and borrow from existing landscape, and artistry in the feeling of suitability created”, to reach artistic heights of "crafted by human hands but as if created by heaven".
Craft refers to human effort. Ju Bin, the chief designer, proceeded from the human factor in the formation of gardens to "intervene" in this outdoor garden: from the entrance of the garden, the disposition of "path" and "pavilion" is paved to alter the original circulation. The "path" represents "connection" - between nature and artifacts, past and future; while the "pavilion" evokes a sense of garden. In Chinese gardens, the purport of "pavilion" is to stay in place, extended to embodiment of humanistic values and portraying abstruse depths in Chinese paintings. The intervention by the architect and artists aims to revive the dialogue between the artificial and the natural, to lead you, the observer, to enter, contemplate and engage, to approach the scenery and gaze into it, to breathe its "natural irregularity" and, while passing through the openness of nature and the enclosure framed by human, to actually live the perpetuity of "coexistence of human and nature".
Wander A garden is a volumetric form of Chinese painting. Following diffusive view points in sight to explore the garden, you feel immersed in the universe of it. "Without flowers or trees, it is still a garden". That’s the spatial statement for My Casa: Crafted Garden & Continuity. You can imagine all that exists in the garden as ensemble of nature and "fragments of home". As you move in nature, what you pass through are layers of linkages between "you" and "home" in your life. Between you and the "things" in your home, is it a relationship of obsession, appreciation or escape? How to turn a home into a spiritual retreat for introspection and self-exposure? When the "body" is placed in the domain of home, what is the state of the body and the thoughts related to it? Intimate or alienated to itself ? Exposed or wrapped? Follow the path in the garden to the interior, where the three spaces of “My Possessions”, “My Minds” and “My Bodies” are fragments linked with “home”.
Wander ｜ My Possession The "My Possessions" space is about the approach to the relationship between "me" and "things": "objects" are staged at seemingly familiar venues - living room, kitchen and dining room; and by the action of "wandering", “me” as the subject would engage with these “objects”, near or afar, and be ignited in personal reflection.
Wander ｜ My Mind The second space, "My Minds", takes the righteous path of "tea, music, books and Zen" for spiritual introspection on “me”. What "righteousness of heart" brings you is a sequence of void in your thoughts - not devoid of senses - evoked by changing perceptions. It may be an illuminous clarity after the burden of thoughts gets cleansed, or a state of obscurity before clarity is reached, and the "misty" unknown between such apices is a vague, poetic aura that symbolizes the transition from chaos to clarity.
Wander ｜ My Bodies The feelings brought by home to your body is mixed: it might give you comfort and respite, or it could be fueling pain and tension. "My Bodies" is a space that explores the relationship between the "me" and "home" of the body, where symbols of the body are placed in unusual scenes to manifest the different states of "me" at home, exposed or wrapped, and of the intimacy or alienation between me and others.
Continuity , I am In the scenic realm of gardens, "wandering" and "walking" are ways of "contemplating the self ". German philosopher Josef Pieper (1904-1997) observed the power of "silence" (schweigen) as "the capacity of the soul to perceive and receive the call of reality". In the "silence" brought by "wandering" and "walking", from the serenity of a garden, deeper senses will be awakened. Perceptions out of silence will eventually lead you to the space of “I am", the last room of My Casa: Crafted Garden & Continuity. A stratum of shallow water enveloped in a misty composition reflects not others but "me", and it also mirrors the meanings of "home" to "me" - both are mediums to hold and express sentiments. One’s yearning for "home" is not the same as always. Look into you and your home: you to your home, and your home to you. How might the two be mutually supportive and reflective? The answer is to be found in the heart. It’s the only answer - you are the answer.
About AD CHINA Architectural Digest (AD) is a world-renowned magazine on architecture and design, launched in 1920 and has dedicated to unveiling "the most beautiful homes in the world" for more than 100 years, featuring elites and celebrities from all realms to share their tastes in home interior and vision for living. Over the course of the past 40 years, AD has brought its readers into homes of iconic styles all across the globe, with ten global editions in countries and regions that span from the United States to Italy, Germany, France, Russia, Mexico, Spain, China, India, and the Middle East. Published under a copyright cooperation between Women of China magazine and Condé Nast since 2011, the Chinese edition of AD is based in China but embraces the world, setting widely influential trends in the worlds of architecture, decoration and interior design with multi-platform presence to offer Chinese readers insights into tasteful aesthetics of home and living. As a leading brand of lifestyle media, AD China launched AD CASA in 2020, an annual offline exhibition, joining forces with creative luminaries in architecture, design, decoration and art around the world to create "the most beautiful home in the world" within reach, for its readers and audiences to enjoy a holistic experience of the art of home and the beauty of life.