The UK British Council commissioned Architect CJ Lim to create Virtually Venice for the British Pavilion at the 2004 Venice Architectural Biennale. The project creates and celebrates existing connections between Venice and China. The driving force behind Lim’s images are derived from the legendary story of Marco Polo’s first meeting with the Mongolian Emperor, Kublai Khan. Lim’s compositions portray a version of Venice as imagined by Kublai Khan “after his conversations with Marco Polo. The city takes on aspects of the East and reconfigures itself in new architectural forms. With the two protagonists metaphorically representing East and West, Lim’s research investigates the differences and similarities in cultures and identities.”
The physical compositions, which were recently displayed in the London Eight exhibition curated by Peter Cook, were followed by a book, Virtually Venice, published in 2006.
CJ Lim, Professor of Architecture and Cultural Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture, is a Malaysia-born architect and co-founder the London-based firm Studio 8 Architects (1994). In 1987, he earned his undergraduate degree from Architectural Association (AA) in London. University College of London interviewed Lim about his undergraduate experience as an international student here.
FRAC Centre (Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain) interview with CJ Lim about Virtually Venice: