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Temple skyscape

"Gathered Sky" by James Turrell at Temple Hotel in Beijing. Photo by Ben McMillan, article from the Wall Street Journal.

“Gathered Sky” by James Turrell at Temple Hotel in Beijing. Photo by Ben McMillan, article from the Wall Street Journal.

Somewhere in the Indian Ocean necklace by Holst + Lee. Handmade with nylon rope, turquoise stones, brass fixtures and woven chain.

Somewhere in the Indian Ocean handmade necklace by Holst + Lee, nylon rope, turquoise stones, brass fixtures and woven chain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s dusk in Beijing. I lie on the floor of an ancient Buddhist temple, exposed sky above. The last colors of the day melt over me. Bats dash across the ceiling cutout. A star blinks. James Turrell, a reclusive genius with light, traveled to China to fine-tune “Gathered Sky” at the new Temple Hotel. I imagine his astonishment at the calm achieved within the restored grounds, within the cacophonous capital – a site symbolic of the city itself. Built in the mid-18th century, the temple became a factory after the Cultural Revolution, churning out bicycles, medical supplies and black-and-white TVs (the latter: a stunning foil for Turrell’s profound palette). I shall visit, wearing Holst + Lee’s Somewhere in the Indian Ocean necklace, a handmade collar echoing the fans of color inside the temple.

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