Timeless Beacon

Taiping Xu, Nanhai
Video Production: Studio Fang
Video ©
Photo © Lu Yu
Photo © Lu Yu
Photo © Tian Fangfang
Photo © Tian Fangfang
Photo © Zhang Kai
Ma Yansong
Photo © Tian Fangfang
Photo © Zhang Kai
Photo © Tian Fangfang
Photo © Li Junliang
Before
Before
Before
Architects
MAD
Location
Taiping Xu, Nanhai
Year
2023
Client
Guangdong Nanhai Art Field
Artist
Ma Yansong

Timeless Beacon- Ma Yansong's new work brings a sense of rebirth to an abandoned market

Ma Yansong was invited by Guangdong Nanhai Art Field to complete an art installation named “Timeless Beacon” in Taiping Xu, Nanhai, Guangdong province of China.

The design renovated Taiping market, known as the largest abandoned building in Taiping Xu, a once bustling fair established in the late Ming Dynasty and flourished for centuries until the 1980s when fishermen, businessmen, and villagers gathered there for trading.

However, the onset of an urbanization boom changed everything, gradually pushing young people to seek opportunities outside the village. Meanwhile, the internet era began overshadowing the need for physical markets, leading to a slow abandonment of the formerly buzzing fair. On the side of Taiping’s deserted streets, concrete houses occasionally interspersed with old brick buildings emerge. There, a couple of elderly residents sit at their doorsteps and chat, painting a picture of a prosperous era that has now gone into decay.

“I see many plants growing towards the sun from the gaps of the abandoned building. We hope to create a sense of vitality and rebirth from the ruins, so that people can feel new energy and perception from the old structure, as well as new understanding of time to this whole area.” – Ma Yansong

The quiet village contrasts the contemporary backdrop of a fast-growing city across the river. When the function of the place is no longer important, the emotion and inspiration it carries are the value that is left by the building. MAD intends to parallel the time scales of history and future through design, forming a surreal scene that brings people back to imagination.

A three-story building is wrapped in reflective film, a new material that blurrily mirrors the surrounding old streets through the building’s façade and inner space, respectively. At the top, a towering multimedia light device is enveloped in colorfully delicate pieces of cloth, fluttering in the wind romantically. At night, it transforms into a new “lighthouse” of the village, creating a dreamy aura along the bankside.

Timeless Beacon, the art installation will be on show until the summer of 2024.

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