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The Wishing Forest Pavilion at Tai Po 

The Wishing Forest Exhibition was launched on 18 January 2014 at Tai Po Lam Tsuen Wishing Square, Hong Kong. It is one of the two major exhibitions in “Heritage x Arts x Design (H.A.D.) Walk Project x Tai Po & Fanling”, sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Designed by LWK & Partners (HK) Limited (LWK) and organised by HULU CULTURE, this project with the theme “Our Home, Our Roots” aims to present traditional folk culture through perspectives of heritage, arts, and design.

The head of the design team for this project is Eric CM Lee, LWK Director of Heritage Conservation. Team members include Patrick Ng, Haynie Sze and Bennett Bossert. “As architects, we should not only focus on spatial planning and design; we also need to respect tradition and cultural. Architecture should be leveraged as the bond connecting the past and present. With this notion in mind, we decided to name this pavilion ‘the Wishing Forest’, resembling numerous growing trees embracing each other. We hope it could represent the spirit of unity of traditional Lam Tsuen which continues far and beyond. ”

The pavilion is laid out in three zones—housing exhibits in “heritage”, “arts” and “design” categories, respectively. Its structure is made of bamboo sticks tied together with string—without nailing or additional support—which demonstrates traditional Chinese craftwork. Such method is also environmentally friendly as it maximises the interior space with minimal use of bamboo sticks.

On each circular pavilion, a ring of red strings is hung from the rim of the bamboo canopy, waving in the breeze and resembling the aerial roots of Lam Tsuen’s wishing trees (banyan trees). Besides cultural indications, the strings also have practical functions. According to Haynie, the purpose of the strings is to control direction of water flows. Raindrops from the top of pavilion would fall through pieces of hanging strings, serving as a drainage system. “Moreover, the pavilion is partially enclosed with translucent canvas, in both red and white lantern, arousing curiosity to find out the happenings inside. During daytime, the pavilion appears as a group of red lanterns, symbolising unity during the New Year period. At night, with the lighting effect, it acts as a platform for the dance of light and shadow. It would be an eye-catching feature for the New Year festival,” said Haynie.

The Wishing Forest exhibition is open to the public for free until 23 February 2014.




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