【4/5/2021】CAPA-NoVA Distinguished Chinese American Project

(Written by: Yuyan Zhou)


贝聿铭 (I. M. Pei) is a man who needs no introduction. Even if you do not know his face, you would have seen his work, such as the East Building of the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C., and the extension of the Louvre in Paris, France. These are just a fraction of Pei’s prolific architectural footprints, as his master pieces are dazzling around the world.

Pei was born in Canton China in 1917 and came to the United States in 1935 to study first at the U.Pen and then at MIT (B. Arch. 1940) and then Harvard Graduate School of Design (M. Arch. 1946). He maintained such design philosophy that buildings should not just to solve functional and technical problems but also to produce “an architecture of ideas.” His architecture can be characterized by its faith in modernism, humanized by its lyricism and beauty.  What he valued most in architecture, he said, was that it “stand the test of time.”

After the recent tragic Atalanta shooting, Senator John Neely Kennedy spoke in front the Congress to denounce the violence.  He opened his speech by honoring an important Chinese American, and his name was I.M. Pei.

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“I’m sure you have been to Paris. The architect as you undoubtedly know, who designed the Louvre iconic glass pyramid, was actually an American. He was an Asian American. His name was, I.M.Pei.

Mr. Pei emigrated from China to the United States in the 1930s. By the time he passed at the age of 102, he had designed a number of famous buildings. He done that across the world, including on United States soil.

America is proud of Mr. Pei. He is just one of millions of Asian Americans whose talents have helped America continue to be an exceptional nation. A nation made up of exceptional people, who take advantage of all the opportunities that these United States have to offer.

The contributions of individual Asian Americans have helped our country. Pioneers advance in architecture, medicine, art, and technology, but more than that, Asian Americans are our friends, and they are our neighbors.

America pioneered government that is based on the inalienable rights that God gives each person. God has imbued every man and woman with dignity, and Americans answer that dignity, with respect, respect for each individual, and their right to make the most of the manifold opportunities, our country offers.”

【Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us! 】

Reference articles:

12 Iconic Buildings by Legendary Architect I.M. Pei

12 Iconic Buildings by Legendary Architect I.M. Pei

I.M. Pei, Master Architect Whose Buildings Dazzled the World, Dies at 102

The 60 Minutes Interview: I.M. Pei

Character Introduction of 贝聿铭 ( I.M.Pei) – by 燕语洲 (Yuyan Zhou)

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