The Living Gallery: Expanding the Realm of Art Exhibition as Embodied Journey

Cindy Zhang

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"The Living Gallery" is a vibrant and dynamic composition that serves as a visual manifestation of the thesis's core concepts. The colors reflect the diversity and inclusiveness of the envisioned gallery space. Representing a multitude of artistic expressions and experiences that "The Living Gallery" aims to offer. It's a celebration of the diversity of art, both in its forms and in the emotions it evokes.

How can an art gallery engage with broader communities within the urban fabric to facilitate more dynamic and inclusive experiences?

Art is a living, evolving undertaking that charts the evolution of human progress. It has been defined in many ways, especially in relation to being a creative activity that affects the human spirit. However, art galleries and museums are often seen as privately secured spaces designed to display conventional artworks with controlled public access. Such containment and embodied regulation within modernist white boxes minimize engagement between the visitors and the work itself. Exhibition spaces of iconic galleries therefore face challenges created by lack of spatial engagement and communal experience. Over the years, the Gallery changed from displaying traditional paintings on white walls to a variety of contemporary participatory experiences within black boxes that involve interaction between art and the public. However, this thesis argues that the public’s sensory experience should not be limited within a passive framed enclosure, be it white or black. It is therefore essential to create more dynamic surroundings that challenge the existing modernist gallery design.

The Living Gallery proposes an extension to Auckland’s Art Gallery by connecting with the underground air raid tunnels below Albert Park.
Floor Plan
Floor Plan2

The Living Gallery performs a participatory environment for the visitors to experience an embodied engagement within a public space. By blurring the boundaries of art representation, new typologies and modes emerged to enhance the public experience, attracting visitors above and belowground to engage with a more accessible and responsive environment that establishes an interactive journey through a more communal public gallery.

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Perspective above
The Living Gallery