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Guy Ngan’s Habitation series dates from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. The works were usually on a smaller scale but on three occasions he made larger unique examples.
Guy Ngan has long admired Roman architecture and the way that it utilised both arched rectangles and curves in its construction. He cites the hypogeum (underground) of the colosseum’s wooden arena as being particularly influential in his conceptualising how a network of passages and tunnels intersected. As well as this, the layout of the Habitation works echo the appearance of the antique Chinese hutong or courtyard residences once commonly found in cities like Shanghai.
Under the arena was the hypogeum (literally underground), a vast network of tunnels and passages provided building circulation. In Habitation, the artist imagines a sequence of spaces that are mutually dependent, where one space flows into another and then another. As a metaphor of a new way of constructing social environs and inter-relatedness, this sculpture is like an image of a human village.
- Production date
- Credit line
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased with assistance from the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust, 2013
- Accession no
- Copying restrictions apply
- New Zealand Art
- Display status
- Not on display
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