Exhibition: Space Narrative of The Museum of Zhang Zhidong in Wuhan, China by Diameter Narrative Design Studio

Bring up the present appearance of Wuhan through the interlacement and fusion of Zhang’s personal experience and urban modern transformation

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张之洞与武汉博物馆坐落于武汉市汉阳区,建筑面积7200多平方米,其中展览可用面积约6200多平方米。博物馆建筑主体于2014年建造完成,由著名建筑师丹尼尔·李伯斯金担纲建筑设计。2016年万科集团委托北京直径叙事负责总体策展与展览设计,前后耗时近三年。

The Museum of Zhang Zhidong in Wuhan is located in Hanyang District, Wuhan city, with a building area of more than 7200 square meters, of which the exhibition area is about 6200 square meters. The main architectural structure was completed in 2014 and designed by renowned architect Daniel Liebeskind. In 2016, Vanke entrusted Diameter Narrative Design Studio with curation and exhibition design, which took nearly three years.

▼张之洞与武汉博物馆建筑外景,exterior view of the Museum of Zhang Zhidong in Wuhan ©直径叙事工作室

在武汉大大小小的博物馆里,挤满了有关张之洞的资料与诉说。在这片土地上重新建立一座有关张之洞的博物馆,似乎显得累赘且多余。如何重新叙述这个已经被无数人讲述过的历史议题?至少,再多上一堂评论张之洞功过是非的“历史课”,是既无价值也无必要的。直径叙事在张之洞与武汉博物馆的内部展览设计之中,开启了一套全新的叙事视角。

There have been so many materials about Zhang Zhidong in several museums of Wuhan. It appears that another museum of Zhang Zhidong is cumbersome and redundant on this land. How to retell a historical issue that has been told by countless people? At the very least, one more “history lesson” on Zhang Zhidong’s merits is neither worthwhile nor necessary. By the design of the internal exhibition of the Museum of Zhang Zhidong in Wuhan, the Diameter Narrative Design Studio opens a new set of narrative perspectives.

▼入口处的张之洞铜像与生平年表,the bronze statue of Zhang Zhidong and his life chronology ©直径叙事工作室

立足现在的立场上回看历史,我们仍可以看到张之洞在武汉时期的业绩一直延续至今。他所在的那段武汉的岁月,经历着城市的现代化更新与巨变;而在这段波澜壮阔的历史中起到关键作用的张之洞本身,又是作为一个社会先行者的孤独个人。张之洞与武汉,一个人的沉浮起落,和一座城市的日新月异,两条线互相交错着,将武汉今日的容貌推到了每一个人的眼前。

▼开阔的三层中庭空间,the open atrium on the third floor ©直径叙事工作室

▼中庭空间局部,历史学家看张之洞,partial view of the atrium, insights toward Zhang Zhidong from historians ©直径叙事工作室

▼中庭空间局部,地图:张之洞在武汉,partial view of the atrium, the map: Zhang Zhidong was in Wuhan ©直径叙事工作室

▼中庭空间局部,张之洞的著作展示,partial view of the atrium with the exhibition of Zhang Zhidong’s work ©直径叙事工作室

Looking back at history from the present standpoint, we can still see that Zhang Zhidong’s performance in Wuhan has been continued to this day. The process of urban modernization and transformation occurred to Wuhan in the period that Zhang lived there. Zhang Zhidong, who plays a key role in this magnificent history, was feeling alone as a social pioneer at the same time. The interlacement and fusion of Zhang’s personal experience and urban modern transformation brought up the present appearance of Wuhan.

▼张之洞图书馆,the library of Zhang Zhidong ©直径叙事工作室

▼张之洞的智库,the think tank of Zhang Zhidong ©直径叙事工作室

▼通向四层的楼梯空间,采用三角形灯光设计,the staircase leading to 4F with the triangular lighting design ©直径叙事工作室

走入博物馆的每一个观众,都被裹挟进入了这个如同剧场般的空间。观众们被邀请进入了一个纷繁复杂的叙事场域,他们时而变成城市的监管人纵览武汉的全貌,时而化身狱卒观看铁栏之中的变迁。时而是求知若渴的新时代学子,时而又站上高台,成为张之洞本人,体味着一个改革者的孤独与无奈。交叉的体验和视角的变动,使得一种隐藏在历史背后的真实被逐渐勾勒了出来。这不是来自历史权威或设计团队的指定或断言,而是观众自己在身份的切换之中不断体悟到的一种共建的真实性。

▼张之洞对武汉的影响——从传统城市格局到现代武汉三镇的演变,Zhang Zhidong’s contribution to Wuhan – evolution of Wuhan: from antique urban pattern to modern city pattern ©直径叙事工作室

▼张之洞对城市公共基础设施的贡献——武汉近代城市公共设施与公共管理的发端,Zhang Zhidong’s contribution to the establishment of urban public infrastructure – inception: municipal construction and public management in modern Wuhan ©直径叙事工作室

▼张之洞对武汉的影响——全方位激活武汉近代工商业,Zhang Zhidong’s contribution to Wuhan – the comprehensive modern industry and commerce in Wuhan ©直径叙事工作室

▼张之洞对武汉的影响——近代企业体制探索:汉冶萍公司及其他官办企业的变迁,Zhang Zhidong’s contribution to Wuhan – searching for modern enterprise systems: Han-Ye-Pin Co. & Other government-run companies’ evolution ©直径叙事工作室

▼张之洞对武汉的影响——因近代工业体系而生的新汉阳,Zhang Zhidong’s contribution to Wuhan – new Hanyang born of the modern industrial system ©直径叙事工作室

▼张之洞对武汉的影响——兴办近代军事工业与军制革新,Zhang Zhidong’s contribution to Wuhan – developing the modern military industry and facilitating the reform of the military system ©直径叙事工作室

▼近代武汉的狱政改革(观看),参观者化身狱卒观看铁栏之中的变迁,prison reform in modern Wuhan (watching mode), visitors act as jailers to watch the changes inside the bars ©直径叙事工作室

▼近代武汉的狱政改革(内部),interior view of the renovating the prison system ©直径叙事工作室

▼对张之洞的评价,the insights toward Zhang Zhidong ©直径叙事工作室

Every visitor to the museum is dragged into the theater-like space. Audiences are invited into a complex narrative field, sometimes as city watchmen to survey the city, sometimes as jailers to watch the changes inside the bars. Sometimes they become the new era students thirst for knowledge, and sometimes they stand on the platform, becoming Zhang Zhidong himself to taste a reformist’s loneliness and helplessness. The overlapping experience and the changes of perspective outline the truth hidden behind the history gradually, which is not a designation or assertion from the historical authority or the design team, but a co-authoring authenticity that the audience constantly perceives by the identity switch.

▼张之洞对教育的影响——立体化的社会教育体系,Zhang Zhidong’s contribution to the education in Wuhan – building up the three-dimensional social education system ©直径叙事工作室

▼张之洞对教育的影响——中西结合的近代学堂教育,Zhang Zhidong’s contribution to the education in Wuhan – modern education system combining Chinese and Western ©直径叙事工作室

▼张之洞对文化的影响——近代武汉报刊业与城市公共文化,Zhang Zhidong’s contribution to the culture in Wuhan – the press and public culture in modern Wuhan ©直径叙事工作室

而当观众结束思考,抬眼望向落地窗外的真实而安静的汉阳铁厂时,兴许他们会忽然意识到,武汉这座城市,才是张之洞与武汉博物馆最大的展项;理解这座城市时间痕迹的钥匙,都藏身于刚才所看到的一个个装置、视角和感触之中。观众注视着张之洞奋力推动而一步步走来的武汉,注视着每一个与自己相关的今日景观,他自身便成为了时空纵横轴线上认知的原点。

When the audiences finish thinking and look up to the real and quiet Hanyang Iron Works outside the floor-to-ceiling window, they may suddenly realize that Wuhan is exactly the biggest exhibition project of the Museum of Zhang Zhidong in Wuhan. The key to understanding the traces of time of this city is hidden in the devices, perspectives and feelings just experienced. The audience turn out to be the very origin of cognition on the space-time axis, to watch the history of Wuhan and Zhang Zhidong, also the nowadays landscape related to themselves.

▼武汉现代交通、邮政与通讯体系的肇始,the beginning of modern transportation system, post system and communication system ©直径叙事工作室

▼近代都市职业人群的产生,the emergence of modern urban professional crowd ©直径叙事工作室

今日的博物馆并非只是一个“展览”的场所。在这种观念的统合之下,即便是本不利于展示的空间布局(如建筑的角落、倾斜的坡面),都成为了叙事语言的精巧诉说,塑造了非同一般的空间叙事体验。在直径叙事巧妙的设计之下,这座张之洞与武汉博物馆依托着武汉之城的历史,化身成为了一个叙事的独特语境和思维的游戏空间。

Today, museums are not just an “exhibition” place. Under the integration of this concept, even the spatial layout that is not conducive to the display (such as the corners of the building and oblique plane) has become the exquisite narrative language, shaping an extraordinary spatial narrative experience. Based on the history of Wuhan city, the Museum of Zhang Zhidong in Wuhan has become a unique game space and narrative context of thinking.

▼倾斜的坡面展示空间——一个改革者的孤独(展示视角),the exhibition space on the oblique plane – a lonely reformer (display perspective) ©直径叙事工作室

▼一个改革者的孤独(体验视角),a lonely reformer (experience perspective) ©直径叙事工作室

策展及展览设计团队
策展设计|直径叙事设计工作室
空间设计 | 氙建筑
平面设计 | STONES DESIGN Lab.
新媒体设计 | Studio NOWHERE
灯光设计 | 吉晟通照明
影视媒体 | 兄弟设计创作组
装置艺术家|周文斗
雕塑艺术家|李鹤
技术支持|董玄天
空间顾问 | 小小空间事务所

展陈施工
展陈施工:深圳杰尔斯展览服务有限公司
装置制作:上海建谆景观工程有限公司
展品复制:武汉天工时代艺术文化发展有限公司
湖北典策档案科技发展有限公司

Curation and exhibition design team
Curation design | Diameter Narrative Design Studio
Space design | Xian Architects
Graphic design | STONES DESIGN Lab.
New media design | Studio NOWHERE
Lighting design | Jishengtong Lighting
Film and television media | Brothers Design
Installation artist | Zhou Wendou
Sculpture artist | Li He
Technical support | Dong Xuantian
Space consultants | Small Space Studio

Exhibition construction
Construction: Shenzhen Gies Exhibition Group
Installation: Shanghai Jianzhun Landscape Engineering Limited
Exhibit reproduction: Wuhan Tiangong Times Art and Culture Development Limited
Hubei Diance Archives Technology Development Limited

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