Hélène Binet: The Walls of Suzhou Gardens
A Photographic Journey
Hélène Binet, Juhani Pallasmaa
Lars Müller, 2021
At the Classical Gardens of Suzhou in China, surface transforms into space; walls become landscapes. In her journey through this UNESCO World Heritage Site, Swiss French photographer Hélène Binet captures the traces of environmental influences on built structures. Her impressive series of photography shows how weather and time have turned blank walls into vivid depictions of nature. In Binet’s images, architecture becomes the frame for imaginary landscapes. By interweaving foreground and background, the artist tells stories that shift between the two dimensions of the plane and the three dimensions of space.
In an accompanying essay, architect and writer Juhani Pallasmaa captures the dream-like quality of the photographs and emphasizes Binet’s skill of balancing precision and vagueness to create images that stimulate the viewer’s imagination.