Four lines, based upon mathematical and geometrical calculations derived from the Chinese theory of five elements, are carefully drawn on the ground with red tape. The work responds to Mies van der Rohe’s wall-less, transparent, and precisely geometric steel building and to the David Chipperfield intervention Sticks and Stones, which over- whelms the structure with natural elements. With a subtle reference to minimalism and eastern philosophy, this piece pairs the perspectives of van der Rohe and Chipperfield with Wu Xing and the traditional theory of five elements. The lines on the ground follow this pattern:
The direction of the “Wood” line is derived from the axis of the first wind on 29 October 2014, the direction of the “Fire” line is derived from the axis of the sun’s path over the gallery on 29 October 2014, the direction of the “Earth” line lies upon the southwest / northeast axis, and the “Water” line lies parallel to the Landwehrkanal running next to Neue Nationalgalerie. With respect to van der Rohe’s building, no “Metal” line is made because the building itself already reflects the best possible situation of metal on top of Berlin’s marshy soil.
Supported by the 2014 Turkish Cultural Foundation.
Special thanks to Bäckerei Kollwitz and Bertrand Glosset.
Photos by Stephan Talneau