Pavilion of Reflection by Lee Yang Yang

Pavilion of Reflection

As the year 2020 ends, the world looks upon itself and calls for a proper retrospection. Global warming and the bushfire crisis, global pandemic and societal lockdown. As we head home and shut ourselves in, we question our role as individuals to the world; we question what is important to our well-being.

Meandering through the bluestone maze, that seemingly appears out of the ground, one retires to a small bench, set away, physically distanced from the other benches. The sculptures are perhaps noticed, subtly framed by the slender posts and the positioning of the bench amidst the nearby planters, like one’s cared pot plants at home.

One’s own mirror, potted plants on the sill, the view out the window – mundane but elemental memories of the pandemic lockdown that keeps us sane. Our collective memory from one’s restrictive dwelling, the mirror, the importance of self-appreciation; the pot plants as our individual connection to nature, the view outside from behind the window.

Looking up the pavilion, one sees their own reflection, not by itself but now amongst the landscape and others around the pavilion. Like the countless windows of virtual conferencing, which are now seen as our window and connection to the collective society, often, we see ourselves talking not unlike the mirror, amongst other individuals in the frame of their screens.

This underlines the notion that we are not alone, but part of a bigger collective – the importance of connecting to the society, to contribute to the spirit of collective resilience. The pavilion’s mirror cladding reflects the garden landscape of which it is set in. Composed out of small loose mirror panels, the cladding animates as the wind picks up, as an allusion to the ephemerality and fragility of the world we are living in.

Our roles as individuals are now visible to the landscape, pertinent to the collective resilience and action to the world. Like the glimpse of light amongst the moving mirrors, we need to persevere past our retrospection to change the fragile world as contemplated in this pavilion of reflection. Source and images Courtesy of Lee Yang Yang.

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