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Semper’s Misinterpretation: The classic discourse by Semper about how to anatomize architecture, namely, the four elements including the hearth, the enclosure, the roof and the mound seems to be inappropriate when applying to Asian architecture, though he did made several examples from China. Furthermore, he elaborated this framework into his emphasis on tectonic thinking, which have been cited by the followers naming it “joint”—-this, however seems to be similar to the essence of ancient Chinese architecture.
The integration: Unlike what Semper has asserted that the four elements manifest themselves as separated in China, the joint, most typically called mortise and tenon, shows its significance in connecting them, though many parts of them are hidden into the interior of a building (see below the parts underneath the roof that connect the beams and pillars). Thus rather than separating among one another, these four elements have been integrated by the joint, though in an implicit and invisible way from outside.
(Adapted from: http://www.gzylw.com/uploadpic/News/201111593731767.jpg)
The flexibility: Semper emphasizes the order in the real world that affect the organization of architecture, the order between the ruler and the ruled. Then he makes comparison to it on flexibility and agility and asserts they don’t exist in China. In fact, in China the flexibility is as common as the order and the joint part is exactly its manifestation. The barriers below are mainly comprised of the cuboids and the cylinder wooden dowels—as the joints. Though the latters are just the fake mortise and tenon, they do show some flexibility like the adjustment of the height, and the direction, depending on how the holes are drilled, and how many cuboids are used.
Back to the Seriousness:
Why are films made?—-to record something in order to remember perhaps.
Then what should be remembered in terms of the Ancient Chinese architecture—-these mere structures, or the creators of these structures?
Structures can still be found, at heritage sites, or be replicated, based on sketches but those people—they will never be alive forever.
They should be remembered.
However within these group, people are not that the same, in terms of their background and social status. What’s more, they conflict against each other, just because of the social hierarchies. Then how to incorporate them within one film and achieve the harmony?
It starts with the upper (at the post’s beginning),
and it might be harmonized through adding subtitles and sound effects.