HEM by Tadao Ando

A new Guangdong cultural landmark

01 January 2020

“By integrating traditional history and culture with modern and contemporary art, the exchange of cultures will bring people the long-cherished wish of a harmonious and peaceful life. The design of the building takes ‘harmony’ as the theme. From the architectural design to the very details, a variety of circles is presented. This is an attempt to create a new culture center integrating Cantonese culture by absorbing the special meaning of geometry in the regional context.” Tadao Ando

Designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, HEM is a 16,000 square meters private art museum opening soon in the Shunde new business district of Foshan, Guangdong Province. It is funded by a world-renowned entrepreneur who dedicates this project to his hometown by providing an institution that combines modern art with local and historical heritages, showcasing the art and culture of the Lingnan region, which includes Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan.

HEM stands for HE (Chinese character 和 that means harmony, balance and union) Museum, embodying its founder’s wishes to provide a harmonious life through sharing of art and culture. The design of the building takes ‘harmony’ as the theme: the architectural design is presented through a variety of circles which constructs the space through ripple-like expansion, from top to bottom with the overlapping of four disks that has a dual-helix spiral staircase as its center.

With each area’s clear-cut periphery, an enriched variation effect is created through the interaction between spaces, adopting its design to the subtropical climate, in which the stark changes of light will create the emotional atmospheres.

"I imagined HEM as an energetic central anchor point to all the artistic and regional custom, climate, landscape and civilisation in Lingnan" said Tadao Ando.

Photo: HEM Art Museum and Tadao Ando