Photo of a giant black-ink mural featuring satirical garden motifs.
The World Garden, by Qiu Zhijie. Photo: Keegan Houser

Gallery: Lost in the garden

After three years of construction and the successful completion of a $105 million campaign, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) opened its new home in January to a global chorus of “oohs” and “aahs.” Combining a sleek stainless steel-clad structure with a renovated 1939 printing plant, the 83,000-square-foot center is flooded with light and meandering, open spaces that invite guests to get lost in wonder and thought as they discover works that cross genres and time.

One piece that’s easy to get lost in is The World Garden,, a dramatic 60-by-25-foot mural that seizes guests’ attention as soon as they enter the museum. Part of the inaugural exhibition, Architecture of Life, and the first in a biannual rotation of projects on the epic Art Wall, this ink mural was created in just five days by renowned Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie. A visual compendium of garden motifs from around the world, it focuses on natural features as symbols of the human condition — but with a satirical view of contemporary society.

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