Neri&Hu News | Neri&Hu's solo exhibition at Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin has come to a successful conclusionDecember 2022

Reflective nostalgia thrives on algia (the longing itself) and delays the homecoming—wistfully, ironically, desperately… Reflective nostalgia does not follow a single plot but explores ways of inhabiting many places at once and imagining different time zones. It loves details, not symbols.

- Svetlana Boym

Neri&Hu's solo exhibition Reflective Nostalgia at Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin has come to a successful conclusion on November 30, 2022. The set of projects exhibited captures Neri&Hu's obsession with reflective nostalgia. As a genre, these projects all share similar strategies - using material contrast, tectonic differentiation, formal assemblage and surgical grafting. The surgical nature of these projects also speak to an archeological approach of peeling back the layers, working with deletions as much as additions.

In the spirit of Gordon Matta-Clark whose self-described works are about “making space without building it,” the projects express the techniques of erosion and erasure, calibrated to produce new unexpected spatial readings. Remnants are woven together by recomposing an assemblage of found fragments to unify the parts. Tectonic legibility is expressed at times with a horizontal datum or in other instances are explicitly highlighted through material coding.

Ultimately, Neri&Hu’s aim is not to restore an image of the past or freeze its history, but to create a dialogue between an imagined past and the present moment, such that their coexistence may produce new, subjective readings of history.

Someone like Neri&Hu represents to me one of the really open possibilities of a renaissance of east and west that takes in consideration what China was before in history, and what it could be today, and what is missing in China today, and what has been missing for 40 years is the culture tie to what has been happening in the west… There is a world culture and a global idea of culture. One of those places that is represented is in architecture. One of the only representatives of that culture to me in the world today Is Neri&Hu.

— Peter Eiseman, Founder of Eisenman Architects

Neri&Hu is a unique practice in contemporary Chinese architecture. Their design philosophy forms a very delicate balance among different cultures… They take their works as a reflection of reflective nostalgia. Fragments of history and architectural materials are woven together through a method as Colin Rowe called “bricolage”.

— Li Xiangning, Tongji University College of Architecture and Urban Planning

We have the feeling when we visited their works that they have been really working in a precise and specific situation. Every project is an investigation. They don't repeat it, they go for it… every project is authentic.

— Manuel Aires Mateus, Founder of Aires Mateus