08 September 2009

“Rhizome” In Traditional Chinese Architecture Art And Culture

“Rhizome” in Traditional Chinese Architecture Art and Culture
The author of Rhizome mentioned China as an Orient of rhizomes and immanence. I want to find some tracing of Rhizome in my background culture to help me to understand the thinking of rhizome and also to use it to offer a new angle of my own culture.

1. As an Opposite Side: “Tree” in Traditional Chinese Architecture
Before I talk about rhizome, it is important and necessary to discuss the opposite side of rhizome: tree and root. As tree is a sample of a system established on hierarchical graph, It is easy to find its tracing in a imperial power machine with centers of signifiance and subjectification, and also in the Imperial Palace in Beijing.
I try to making the tree in this palace to show how the political power flowed out of the central apparatus (building) of the empire in thousand years.

2. Interlaced Segments : “Rhizome” in Traditional Chinese Gardens.
Interlaced Segments:
Without the signs of politics and tracing of power, those gardens in Suzhou had never been planned under one uniform purpose even the mind of the owner and architect. They ware assemblages of a group of talents from different craftsmen, interlaced segments learned from nature, traditional culture essence and desiring of backing to nature.
Instead of Grand narrative, those garden more like a series segments which is always changing. Give you a new image of landscape in every seconds when you walk through. There was the beginning(door) for the garden, but endless segments inside. You ware always in the middle.
Buddha told that: No I and no immutability. This thinking effected our culture and the art of garden deeply. It was another describing of multiplicities.

Wasp and Orchid: Nature and Garden
Art in Chinese philosophy des not always imitate nature, but offer a medium between the owner and natural.
As Wasp, those gardens in Suzhou are not just smaller copy of nature, but make the artificial structure to reterritorialize the nature. The purpose of build gardens is not only to present the desire to live out of earthliness, but also try to find a short cut to translate human to a part of nature again, and keep the comfortable and civilized living style at the same time.
They are sedentarities, but built for nomadism.
Through a process of abstraction and reconstruction, the aesthetics of nature come back to city in the status of a substantive.

3. Scroll Painting: “Rhizome” in Traditional Chinese Art
This Scroll Painting described the city living beside the Bian River in Capital of Song dynasty.
We use especial furniture to appreciate it which keeps the scroll steady. You could never see the whole work at the same time, but any part of this work could be an independent image. It was meaning that people could go into this printing from everywhere. It showed multiple entryways and exits and its own lines of flight.
This dominating point for perspective did not exist in this painting, which made it more like a map. Comparing with normal map in a plan, this one included more information from different directions. It is a recording of a rhizome.

I use color point to make the characters on the printing, than I got an antigenealogy image. Every point is a connotative central of a happening. It is detachable, connectable, reversible, and modifiable.

The purpose of this essay is not translating the concept of rhizome with Chinese culture. What I want to do is making use of this tool to understand myself and my culture more deeply. The sample I give out maybe is not the ideal model for rhizome, but is a introduction for this big discussion.

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