“Inside and Outside the Window,” an exhibition reviewing the life and work of Chinese architect couple Lin Huiyin (1904-1955) and Liang Sicheng (1901-1972), is being presented at the Shenzhen Museum of Contemporary Art and Urban Planning, showcasing old photos, letters and design works.
Lin is known to be the first female architect in modern China and her husband is known as the “father of modern Chinese architecture.” The couple worked as founders and as faculty in the newly formed Architecture Department of Northeastern University in Shenyang in 1928 and, after 1949, served as professors at Tsinghua University in Beijing. From 1930 to 1945, the couple’s research led them to visit more than 2,700 cultural heritage sites in China.
The couple’s wedding photo in 1928.
In a time when women had limited access to formal education, Lin was able to receive a formal education due to being part of a wealthy family. She first studied in London where she attended St. Mary’s College. She wrote free verse, novels and prose and her poems appeared in publications such as the Beijing Morning Post, Crescent Monthly, Poetry and the Dipper, and the newspaper L’impartiale in Tianjin.
In 1924, Lin and Liang both enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, where she also worked as a part-time assistant in the architectural department. Although they both wanted to attend the School of Architecture, Lin was not admitted because she was a woman. She therefore enrolled in the School of Fine Arts. Later, she enrolled in stage design programs in Yale University as a graduate student, pursuing her longtime interest in drama. During her other studies she pursued her passion for architecture by taking architectural classes.
The couple in Shenyang in 1929.
Liang authored the first modern history of Chinese architecture and he was the Chinese representative of the design board that designed the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Princeton University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1947.
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Dates: Until Nov. 29
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., closed Mondays
Tickets: 69 yuan per student, 89 yuan per adult, 166 yuan for two adults, free for seniors aged over 65, children shorter than 1.2 meters, soldiers and the disabled
Venue: Shenzhen Museum of Contemporary Art and Urban Planning, Futian District (福田区深圳市当代艺术与城市规划馆)
Metro: Line 3 or 4 to Children’s Palace Station (少年宫站), Exit A2