Beining Chen

March I AP

The Container House: Urban Interior as a Space for Art Production and Display

Advised by Jon Lott

Memories (of mine) are often vague projections of fragmented enclosures, more vivid when they are tied to a sequence of “rooms” with changes in lighting and sounds. For example, by entering a brighter room from a dim stairway or entering a plaza through quiet alleys. A memorable city has plenty of these urban “rooms” acting as context for our personal stories. In a city that provides no such context, the Container House is simultaneously an extension of the city and an undisturbed context of its own. Its neutrality toward the exterior is in dialogue with the surrounding city, concealing an intricacy toward the individual inhabitant and their lives on the interior. Protected from the conformity and censorship of the world outside, the boundaries of the container seem oddly liberating. Entering this newfound space, the process of art production becomes part of what is revealed or concealed to the audience. The act of gazing through a wall creates a narrative of the “observer” and the “observed,” or the spectator and performer, on both ends. The Container House rethinks the threshold between two conditions of the inside and outside, as it celebrates the ambiguity of a third kind of inhabitable space, within its thickness, a space where creative dialogue is fostered in a confined space of free expression.

Beining Chen, MArch I AP. Cubist painting.
Beining Chen, MArch I AP. City of collective memory. Animation.
Beining Chen, MArch I AP. Plan drawings: house for three artists.
Beining Chen, MArch I AP. Section drawing.
Beining Chen, MArch I AP. Plan drawing.
Beining Chen, MArch I AP. View from atelier.