Every dig leads to China
The Architects suggest to take this Pill with the song
The Big Dig
Xi’an / China
Photography courtesy Topotek 1 / Geng Wang
There is a place where it’s possible to listen to soundtracks of life from the other end of the world: cows from the pampas of Argentina, New York commuters rushing to catch their subway train, maritime life of Stockholm or the sounds of Berlin Central Station. The German design firm, Topotek1 was called by the Xi’An International Horticultural Exposition to create an installation for the Expo’s garden. The studio came up with the idea of creating an “endless” hole in the ground, close to the shape of a speaker or an ear, that offers a visual and auditory journey to different faraway places. It looks like a big dig, designed as the emerging point of a trans-national travel. When you come close to the edge, a sound installation stages discreetly the ambience of travelling – from the hole in the ground you can hear the noises of another side of the world. Artificial grass covers all surfaces, the hole, the lawn and the bench, and creates a monolithic appearance. A thin glass barrier encircles the hole and prevents the visitors from falling in the ‘abyss’ and, possibly, ending up in an unknown land. This is the world talking to China and China talking back to the world. An almost magnetic curiosity lures the visitors to get closer to the crater and look inside to listen to its messages. At the same time one is almost invited to send out its voice to the world by shouting in it. This evocative project concretizes the specific current role of China as an amplifier of cultural trends from all over the world.