Fearful Symmetries

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31 March, 2010

I.M. Pei on American Masters

Concomitant to my review of Iris Chang's The Chinese in America earlier this week, it is worth noting that the PBS show American Masters takes a look at Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei which airs tonight at 8 here in Madison.

I.M. Pei has been called the most important living modern architect, defining the landscapes of some of the world’s greatest cities. A monumental figure in his field and a laureate of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, Pei is the senior statesman of modernism and last surviving link to such great early architects as Corbusier, Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe. Entering into the twilight of his career and well into his eighties, Pei returns to his ancestral home of Suzhou, China to work on his most personal project to date. He is commissioned to build a modern museum in the city’s oldest neighborhood which is populated by classical structures from the Ming and Qing dynasties. For the architect who placed the pyramid at the Louvre, the test to integrate the new with the old is familiar but still difficult. The enormous task is to help advance China architecturally without compromising its heritage. In the end, what began as his greatest challenge and a labor of sentiment, says Pei, ultimately becomes “my biography.”

Here's a preview:

|| Palmer, 12:27 PM

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