"Huang Sheng-Yuan's buildings are not just works of beauty, but ones that make life more beautiful," remarked Deputy Minister of Culture Yang Tzu-pao at the May 24 opening ceremony for the Taiwan Pavilion of the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture at Palazzo delle Prigioni.
The opening marked the realization of a dream long-held by architect Huang Sheng-yuan and Fieldoffice Architects ― one that emphasizes learning from residents and using shared values from everyday life to guide architecture, create a sense of joy, and make life better.
Taiwan's chief representative in Italy, Javier Ching-shan Hou, was also present, giving a keynote speech in which he stated that "while Taiwan may be a small nation, it is big on openness and rich in cultural life, and it is these feelings that this year's Taiwan Pavilion hopes that visitors will remember and savor."
Curator Wang Chun-hsiung added, "Huang Sheng-yuan's pursuit of spatial freedom is profoundly demonstrated here. An exhibit that respects the spatial characteristics of Palazzo delle Prigioni, host of the Taiwan Pavilion, as well as showcases Taiwanese culture. We hope that everyone will find it relaxing and inspiring."
Jokingly, Huang himself remarked that he "wanted to go home and go swimming with the kids" and that he "missed the wife." At the same time, he encouraged everyone to visit the pavilions of other countries as well and to experience other forms and flights of freedom.
According to Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa, exhibition consultant for this year's Taiwan Pavilion, the focus of the architectural world in recent years has been shifting from Europe and North America to South America, Africa, and Asia.
These regions have limited resources, but have nonetheless worked hard to create new environments, new spirits, and new hopes through architecture, said Pallasmaa, adding that he was particularly amazed by the vitality and energy that Fieldoffice had summoned in the pavilion.
The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, organizer of the Taiwan Pavilion, has put together an exhibition on two decades of work by Huang and Fieldoffice in Yilan under the title "Living with Sky, Water & Mountain: Making Place in Yilan." The exhibition will be held at Palazzo delle Prigioni, Italy, until November 25.