The “Lapis Lazuli Light Land” is located in the pine and bamboo forest of Dabie Mountain in Yuexi, adjacent to the Sikong Mountain Grotto where Zen Master Hui Ke used to practice. It is surrounded by rivers and ridges, with lush pine and bamboo.
From a distance, the Lapis Lazuli Light Land seems to float and sway about ten meters high from the ground above the pine and bamboo forest, where in the same place as the coloured cloud. Do not criticize the world, quietly live a leisure life. Surrounded by mist, the mountains are full of trees while steps are covered with moss. People who visit here could feel refreshed and comfortable.
Folded Plain Screens
Winding along the path between the pine and bamboo forests, a boulder marks the entrance of “Lapis Lazuli Light Land”. Taken from a nearby brook, the stone is naturally fragmented while still as a whole. The architect named it " a mountain rising 849.4 meters above sea level "
Turning on different sides, the white walls as a three-dimensional plain screen divide and define the independent spaces. It ends the scene of the pine and bamboo forest and while indicates the opening of the scene of the “Lapis Lazuli Light Land”.
While stepping up, the stairs inside the "plain screens" indicate the route to the Bamboo Top. The precise opening outlines the scene outside the bamboo forest. While continue going upward in the space, the view that visitors could see will gradually change from the bottom of bamboo to the top, which turns from familiar to unfamiliar.
When reached bamboo top, everything suddenly became open and clear. With the moss growing around the steps and the white clouds filling the room, you will feel as if travelling to the world of glazed light for a moment.
Lapis Lazuli Light Land
Glazed stone is often considered to be lapis lazuli, whose chemical crystal structure is centred on the tetrahedron. It inspired us to follow a similar geometrical logic to create the brightest part of the lapis lazuli light land -the Tower of Light, which also responses to the Zen Master Hui Ke's secular name:“He was named as light since the room was enlightened with the light when he was born”. Be filled with wisdom, and be enlightened with the light.
Walk, Live, Sit, and Lie in Zen
The center of the Lapis Lazuli Light Land is a square room that less than ten square meters, with a window facing the bamboo top on one side and a ciborium on the other. There is no “object” being enshrined in the ciborium while only a "fish" is kept there: the staggered design form comes from the double-storey niches in the Sui and Tang Dynasties.
The niche, and the grotto-which is considered to be the "prototype" of niche, has a widely recognized spirituality and mysticism. The place that Hui Ke used to practise was actually in a grotto in Sikong Mountain. From the place of Buddhist practice to the place where the objects are enshrined, the niche symbolizes the supernatural power's supervision and protection of people in reality. While it means that only if there is no object in the niche, could the behaviour surrounding it have more possibilities rather than worship and questioning.
Walking, living, sitting and lying are all Zen meditation. If we are obsessed with "objects", whether it is a house, a window, or symbols in a niche, these could all be our ignorance.
When night felling, the "light" on the roof quietly lit up. Why not just stay in the Zen room， leaning on the pillow so to listen to the rustling sound of the bamboo forest and the pine trees in the breeze?