Written by: VISUALHOUSE / Architecture MasterPrize
Photography: He Art Museum (HEM)

Inspired by “ancient Chinese cosmology, philosophy, western style’s use of light and Lingnan’s terrain”, Tadao Ando created a place of harmony.

A recent winner of the Architecture MasterPrize 2020 Architectural Design of the Year, He Art Museum (HEM), designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, showcases precisely what outstanding architecture can do: taking ancient geometry and creating a unique architectural language of its own.
Located in Guangdong, China, HEM is a family established, non-profit art museum encompassing an area of 16,000 square meters and contains 8,000 square meters of exhibition space, alongside a café and bookshop.

The design of HEM’s architecture pursues the philosophy of spatial integration, involving geometrical design elements - square and circle - to create a sense of contrast.

Highlighted with the world’s first and only double-helix staircase made with slick concrete and spacious innovative exhibition halls in a circular structure, it hopes to utilize the space to create multi-dimensional cultural and artistic experiences for art enthusiasts and the local community.

The museum will be home to an art collection that consists of more than 500 works ranging from painting and calligraphy to photography and sculpture.

‘My vision for HEM is to bring art and culture to the people of my hometown of Shunde, the Pearl River Delta, China, and international visitors who are curious about our heritage and culture,’ says He Jianfeng, founder of HEM. ‘I hope the museum can contribute to cultural initiatives that the country’s Greater Bay Area Development Plan envisions.’

HEM's first exhibition will open with ‘From the Mundane World’, which has been curated by independent art curator and critic Feng Boyi.

The exhibition will be on view on the second and third floors, extending the original attributes of ‘worldly scenery’ to production, consumption, ecology, environment, examining the situation of human civilization in the laws of nature.