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Ma Yansong crowns abandoned market with rainbow-hued fabric in Guangdong

China Architecture News - Mar 21, 2023 - 10:57   2491 views

Ma Yansong crowns abandoned market with rainbow-hued fabric in Guangdong

MAD Architects founder Ma Yansong has crowned an abandoned market with a rainbow-hued fabric in Guangdong, China

Named Timeless Beacon, the installation, commissioned by the Guangdong Nanhai Art Field, wraps the Taiping market, known as the largest abandoned building in Taiping Xu, with reflective film and colorful fabric fluttering in the wind romantically.

The three-storey building is located in Taiping Xu, a once bustling fair established in the late Ming Dynasty and and flourished for centuries until the 1980s when fishermen, businessmen, and villagers gathered there for trading.

Ma Yansong crowns abandoned market with rainbow-hued fabric in Guangdong

Image © Tian Fangfang

"However, the onset of an urbanization boom changed everything, gradually pushing young people to seek opportunities outside the village," said MAD Architects

"Meanwhile, the internet era began overshadowing the need for physical markets, leading to a slow abandonment of the formerly buzzing fair." 

"On the side of Taiping’s deserted streets, concrete houses occasionally interspersed with old brick buildings emerge," the office added. 

Ma Yansong crowns abandoned market with rainbow-hued fabric in Guangdong

Image courtesy of MAD

According to MAD, there are still a couple of elderly residents who sit at their doorsteps and chat, "painting a picture of a prosperous era that has now gone into decay."

"I see many plants growing towards the sun from the gaps of the abandoned building," said Ma Yansong. 

"We hope to create a sense of vitality and rebirth from the ruins, so that people can feel new energy and perception from the old structure, as well as new understanding of time to this whole area," Yansong added.

Ma Yansong crowns abandoned market with rainbow-hued fabric in Guangdong

Image © Tian Fangfang

Thanks to a rainbow-hued fabric, the installation creates a sharp contrast with the quiet village with contemporary backdrop of fast-growing city across the river. 

According to the studio, "when the function of the place is no longer important, the emotion and inspiration it carries are the value that is left by the building." 

With this installation, the studio intends to parallel the time scales of history and future through design, forming a surreal scene that brings people back to imagination.

Ma Yansong crowns abandoned market with rainbow-hued fabric in Guangdong

Image © Lu Yu

The lower floors of the three-story building is wrapped in reflective film, a new material that blurrily mirrors the surrounding old streets through the building’s façade and inner space, respectively. 

At the top, there is a towering multimedia light device that is crowned in colorfully delicate pieces of cloth, fluttering in the wind romantically. At night, it transforms into a new “lighthouse” of the village, creating a dreamy aura along the bankside.

Ma Yansong crowns abandoned market with rainbow-hued fabric in Guangdong

Image © Zhang Kai

Timeless Beacon will be on show until the summer of 2024.

Ma Yansong crowns abandoned market with rainbow-hued fabric in Guangdong

Image courtesy of MAD

Ma Yansong crowns abandoned market with rainbow-hued fabric in Guangdong

Image courtesy of MAD

Ma Yansong crowns abandoned market with rainbow-hued fabric in Guangdong

Image © Zhang Kai

Ma Yansong crowns abandoned market with rainbow-hued fabric in Guangdong

Image courtesy of MAD

Ma Yansong crowns abandoned market with rainbow-hued fabric in Guangdong

Image © Li Junliang

Ma Yansong crowns abandoned market with rainbow-hued fabric in Guangdong

Image © Tian Fangfang

Ma Yansong crowns abandoned market with rainbow-hued fabric in Guangdong

Image © Lu Yu


Video courtesy of MAD Architects, produced by STUDIO FANG

Ma Yansong recently curated Blueprint Beijing Exhibition for the first Beijing Biennial, which was on view until March 12, 2023.

MAD also released its second monograph MAD Rhapsody exploring Ma Yansong's "spiritual freedom". Watch our exlusive interview with Ma Yansong on his book, MAD Rhapsody, on WAC's Instagram.

Top image © Tian Fangfang.

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