'the city of time': MAD's ma yansong sculpts maze-like artist hub for aranya theater festival

'the city of time': MAD's ma yansong sculpts maze-like artist hub for aranya theater festival

first look at the city of time by mad architects’ ma yansong 

 

For the 2023 edition of the Aranya Theater Festival taking place in coastal China, Ma Yansong from MAD Architects led the design of an outdoor artist hub inspired by labyrinthine designs. The temporary structure, dubbed The City of Time, was completed as part of the Migratory Birds 300, a 300-hour artist residency that brings together 300 creators from diverse fields and backgrounds to assemble by the seaside in Aranya. Between June 12 and June 25, The City of Time hosted 300 artists, 131 group works, and 194 works, including shows, installations, sculptures, body art, performance art, paintings, and videos.

'the city of time': MAD's ma yansong sculpts maze-like artist hub for aranya theater festival
all images courtesy Aranya Theater Festival, MAD Architects – Fiona Qi Ziying

 

 

a ‘dissolvable’ artist hub for the aranya theater festival 

 

‘The City of Time dissolves after 300 hours. Revolving around an axis perpendicular to the sea, it offers a spiritual roost for creators. In real cities, the need for functionality suffocates spiritual spaces. Building a fanciful city by the sea allows the substance of theater and art to breathe natural life into this space. Taking flight and transcending reality, it is a place dedicated to time, human behavior, and nature, inspiring contemplation on our relationships with ourselves and the world,’ writes Ma Yansong from MAD Architects (see more here). 

'the city of time': MAD's ma yansong sculpts maze-like artist hub for aranya theater festival
City of Time is a temporary artist hub for the Aranya Theater Festival

 

 

Emerging as an enclosure of sand-colored walls, The City of Time’s maze-like architecture by Ma Yansong at the Aranya Theater Festival is punctuated by a series of organically-shaped sections and a large circular spot at the center. Each section lacks unnecessary ornamentations and features, creating a strikingly minimal spatial layout that allows every artwork and performance/show to take center stage without any distractions from their backdrops. Participants include conceptual painter Wang Guangle, visual artist Xiang Jing, and sculptor Liu Huanzhang. 

'the city of time': MAD's ma yansong sculpts maze-like artist hub for aranya theater festival
Kang Xiaoliang and Liu Jing © Xiang Jing

 

 

learn more about the migratory birds 300 residency 

 

Migratory Birds 300 is perhaps the most romantic, imaginative, and polyphonic of the Aranya Theater Festival programs. As the most widely discussed public art residency project, it unfolds in two venues: Aranya, China, and Regent’s Canal in London, England. The value of Migratory Birds 300 lies not only in the gift of uninterrupted time for creating new work but also in the communal living and work space shared for 300 hours. The residency promotes novel cooperation between previously unacquainted artists, encouraging creators to push the boundaries of their work and complete innovative group works.

'the city of time': MAD's ma yansong sculpts maze-like artist hub for aranya theater festival
Dream © Liu Huanzhang

'the city of time': MAD's ma yansong sculpts maze-like artist hub for aranya theater festival
the outdoor space hosted 300 artists between June 12 and June 25, 2023

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Phosphorus Body © Wang Guangle

'the city of time': MAD's ma yansong sculpts maze-like artist hub for aranya theater festival
a series of performances, installations, and shows took over The City of Time by Ma Yansong in Aranya

'the city of time': MAD's ma yansong sculpts maze-like artist hub for aranya theater festival
sculptural works rising amid the seascape backdrop

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'the city of time': MAD's ma yansong sculpts maze-like artist hub for aranya theater festival

'the city of time': MAD's ma yansong sculpts maze-like artist hub for aranya theater festival
nighttime gatherings and events organized by the Migratory Birds 300 artist residency

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project info:

 

name: Aranya Theater Festival 2023

location: Aranya, China 

architecture: MAD Architects | @madarchitects 

lead architect: Ma Yansong 

design team: Wang Yiqi, Yang Xuebing

festival shooting team: Wang Zhen, Wang Yong, Chen Ying, An Chen, Hou Xuefei – Zaiye studio
silver salt photosynthesis: Zhu Shi, Wang Zhe, Liu Xin

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