M+, the new museum of visual culture in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, is pleased to announce Rethinking Pei: A Centenary Symposium. Co-organised by M+ with, respectively, the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, and the Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong, this two-part symposium celebrates the 100th birthday year of I.M. Pei by bringing together leading scholars who will lend new insights into the acclaimed architect’s life and work. The symposium will take place on 12–13 October in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (at Harvard University), and on 14–15 December in Hong Kong (at the University of Hong Kong). The symposium is made possible by the generous support of C Foundation.
Despite his global renown and numerous iconic buildings — including the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (1968–78); the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong (1982–89); and the Louvre Pyramid in Paris (1989–93) — Pei remains a surprisingly under-researched and under-theorised figure. His six-decade career is mostly identified with his unwavering interest in cultural synthesis and the power of pure geometrical form, but his work and methods of practice offer additional opportunities for investigating their dynamic interconnection within multiple, consequential moments in the history of mid- to late 20th century architecture, and their relationships with broader phenomena.
Examining Pei’s work through formal, spatial, social, cultural, and geopolitical lenses — spanning architecture and urbanism, and across the USA, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East — Rethinking Pei: A Centenary Symposium will assemble more than 30 speakers, including scholars selected by invitation and open call, alongside associates, colleagues, and friends of Pei. Together, the symposium’s two linked conferences aim to resituate the architect from the intersecting vantage points of the international poles with which he is most closely linked: Hong Kong/China and Boston/the USA. Source and images, Courtesy of Sutton PR.
- 12 – 13 October 2017 (Cambridge, MA, USA)
- 14 – 15 December 2017 (Hong Kong)
Article by Marco Rinaldi