Guest Country 2021

  • Published in Pagine


The Biennale has showed from the last edition, the will to confront with other cultures that mastered a thousand-year-old tradition of paper usage, this is the reason why in 2018 China was invited as a guest country, and always following this new line of cultural interaction the 2021 edition will host Japan.


Japan is second only to China as far as the tradition of paper used in and for the most varied ways is concerned.



Tradition and Innovation


The Washiso called Japanese paper, has achieved the rights to be part of the oral and intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of Unesco from 2014.
This paper is commonly used for traditional arts such as Ikebana, the art of floral composition, or Origami, the art of folding paper, or Shodō, the famous Japanese art of calligraphy, even to Sumi- a monochromatic pictorial style that can just be performed on this type of Japanese paper.


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The paper is part of the Japanese tradition not only in the artistic but also in the architectural field, in this context it is mandatory to make an honorable mention for the architect Shigeru Ban, who has made cardboard and paper his stylistic code, becoming today the more famous and important architect who uses these materials both for humanitarian purposes (he dedicates himself to situations of hardship and urgent need to build structures and housing quickly) and to museums or large complexes such as the one built in L'Aquila after the earthquake.


To give a voice to this tradition are waited Japanese figureheads of institutional and artistic importance. Biennale’s commitment is also the one to realise, thanks to a collaboration with an Italian and a Japanese university, a pavilion dedicated to Japanese art, naturally constructed with the materials that are protagonists of the event, so as to create a particular and unique focus on the Japanese artworks and artists.






Guest Country

  • Published in Pagine

 focus on china


Lucca Biennale takes an important step in 2018: at every edition a guest country will be featured making the Biennale a place of international cooperation, whilst the guest country will receive a special focus on its Paper Art production and on a specific project it will create. In 105 A.D. Ts’ai Lun informed the emperor of China that he would create a new material for writing on, using “old fabric, fishing nets and tree bark”. It’s the first historical mention of paper. For this reason, because of a long tradition that connects China and Lucca, the main production centre of paper in Europe, we had to choose China as the first guest country of the Biennale. The focus on China at the Biennale is articulated in two important collaborations. China Design Centre, that embraces important Chinese artists and the Tongji University in Shanghai, among the most important universities in the country, creator of an ambitious urban architectural project. 



Tongji University was founded in 1907 and it is one of the most important universities in China. It gives its students the opportunity to have a complete formation in almost 10 fields of study (philosophy, architecture, science, medicine, art, engineering, management, education etc.). Tongji University is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in China, it is also one of the biggest in the country, with over 70000 students and over 8000 lecturers. The civil engineering and architecture courses are among the best and most selective in China.
 logo-CAUP-min The College of Architecture and Urban Planning is one of the first colleges in China with programs in urban planning and is one of China’s most influential educational institutions. It aims to build harmonious and sustainable environments, carrying forward Chinese spiritual traditions, fostering international and domestic cooperation, and helping to create a bright future for their country. The project presented at the Biennale by the College of Architecture and Urban Planning is based on the traditional Chinese “Ting” buildings, where people used to stop and rest. These buildings are without walls to offer the visitor the necessary space.
The cardboard architecture takes inspiration from Roman arches and traditional elements that reinforce the structure. In this way, the traditional Chinese building are fused with Roman archways. The structure planned by the students is composed of a large space, a medium sized one and one part for kids to emphasize the various sizes. The three spheres appear completely different inside.  This project aims to underline closure to the outside world and the lack of communication. For this reason the top part of the pentagon has been removed and some windows have been inserted that connect the inside to the outside.  

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China Design Centre è stato fondato a Londra nel 2013 da un team di architetti e designer professionisti dedcati alla creazione di un design  innovativo. Il China Design Centre promuove il design che viene da un paese con una lunga storia e una cultura ricca, la cui economia dinamica sta generando una nuova visione della creatività che è diventata la chiave per sbloccare nuove possibilità sociali e commerciali in campi come l’Architettura, le Arti, l’ Arredamento, il Prodotto, la  Gioielleria e la Moda. China Design Centre infatti è  un luogo ideale per esplorare opportunità di collaborazione tra designer provenienti da Cina, Regno Unito e dal resto del mondo. Il loro interesse è volto allo scambio interculturale di idee, conoscenze e competenze. Per questo motivo, quest’anno il China Design Centre partecipa alla Biennale proponendo artisti dalle varie tecniche e filosofie, tra cui: la solitudine, la circolarità della vita e il rapporto che il passato ha con il presente, la natura come tempio di contemplazione.

At the IX edition of the Biennale, China Design Centre presents 3 works at Palazzo Ducale and Mercato del Carmine.






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