Shining a light on Dali’s cultural assets

Nature-seekers and back-packers have long been drawn to Dali, in China’s Yunnan Province, by its natural beauty. Now the city, nestled between mountains and Lake Erhai, is putting arts and culture centre stage, with new developments, such as The Leas, offering a stunningly designed exhibition space to showcase local artistic themes.

Designed by KarvOne, the 2,100 sq m exhibition hall uses soft timbers and glass to blend seamlessly with its natural surrounds. Its name was taken from the Irish Gaelic word for ray of light, and the design certainly invites plenty of natural light into each of the building’s three levels.

The studio says the multi-purpose exhibition space, which includes workshops, a library and a bar, was designed to show the iconic natural beauty, humanities and art of Dali. Different visual communication media has been used to bring the concept to life, including theatrical scenery, theme art installations and digital multimedia.

One of the themed areas, for example, is the “Stage of the Forest”, a multimedia interactive exhibition space with immersive performances of the four seasons of Dali, which allows people to enjoy the natural scenery of the city in a new virtual way. Another is the “100 Faces of New Dali” exhibition, which the designer says is an expression of “the humanistic spirit through different faces that reflect the lifestyles of Dali.”

KarvOne says its client, mainland real estate development group, Vanke, is delighted with the Leas. So too, no doubt, is the city of Dali, and the fortunate folks who get to visit this remarkable project.