Briefing of TEMPO ART
Located at the foot of the western hills of Beijing, and near the 4th Ring Road, TEMPO ART is in a Huizhou Ancestral Temple of nearly 500 years old built in the Reign of Wanli Emperor of Ming Dynasty. The temple was reassembled totally with the materials dissembled and moved from Anhui Province. Now the temple has become an exquisite private modern art museum, and a unique scenic spot in the prosperous metropolis.
Ming and Qing dynasties were the golden ages in the development of Huizhou Carving Art. These wonderful folk arts constituted the splendid Huizhou Culture. When the ancestral temple was moved to Beijing, each piece was carefully dismantled, numbered and pictured. Then the materials were transported to Beijing, reassembled according to their original places with the original materials. For consolidation purpose, the rotten columns were strengthened with old wood. It is really rare to have such an ancient structure in Beijing.
“Three carving arts are converged on a single building” in the Huizhou ancestral temple at Beijing TEMPO ART. We can find the ostentatious and exquisite carvings everywhere from the five-phenix mansion to the seven-pagoda ceiling, from the 6-door stage to the patio where the rain water gathers from the four surrounding roofs. The ancestral temple is characterized with white-washed walls, grey tiles, horse-head walls, brick carving, wood carving, stone carving, multiple eaves, high ridges, up-curving eaves, and meandering corridors which form the basic harmonious tone. It can be regarded as an epitome of the “oriental culture”. In ancient Huizhou, people paid high attention to worshiping their ancestors in wooden temples. This ancestral temple build in Ming Dynasty 500 years ago is grand in scale, balanced in layout, elegant in style. Especially the carvings on the bricks, stones and wood on the arches, lintels, beams and columns are so delicate in craftsmanship, numerous in shapes, and vivid in forms. The temple resembles the sumptuous jade palace, from which we can sense the prosperity of the family in its time. And the contents of the carvings reflect the mentality of the people from Huizhou who advocated commerce, Confucianism and knowledge. The patio serves the function of ventilation, light transmission and drainage. You can experience the sunglow in the morning, and appreciate the stars at night in the room. With secondary refraction by the patio, the sunlight is softer, thus giving a sense of tranquility.
At the rear of the patio is the magnificent stage with the structure of triple eaves, seven purlins, 6 rafters and up-curving brackets. The flying eaves and uprising corners, carved and painted columns, ridge animal decorations, and wall paintings, the combination of carvings and color paintings, together with the gilding at particular parts give a sense of bravery and splendor. The columns are placed on the drum-shaped bases aligned in pairs on each side, and extend to the entrance of the stage. The stage is two meters high, with the front built with grey bricks, and stone stairs at the left side from which performer can ascend the platform. The stage is separated with screens into three spaces, with the biggest at the middle, and two small ones at both sides. The whole stage is characterized with openness and spaciousness. It is the opera for Chinese people. And the Chinese drama can be regarded as the “stage culture”. The stage in the ancestral temple is like a shining pearl beset at the dell of the western hills of Beijing. The beating of drums and gongs 500 years ago enables us to sense the aesthetics of the traditional Chinese drama. The black cloth in those years has become today’s Huadan (both black cloth and Huadan are the characters in Chinese drama), thus increasing our nostalgic mentality to the past.
TEMPO ART is an ancient architecture with great historical significance. Respecting the tradition is also an unique cultural product. The ancient architecture in Huizhou style combined with the ancient customs has more attractions to the visitors. TEMPO ART not only maintains the traditional Chinese literati spirit, but also expands the humanity art, and provides some zeitgeist to the new city of Beijing. As one flower doesn't make the spring, and one swallow doesn't make the summer, TEMPLO ART is just a gem in the art palace compared to Beijing. But it welcomes all the other cultures with its broad mind, and promotes the dialogue and blend of different cultures, so as to make Beijing more colorful and beautiful.