December 2017
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Black and White Huizhou –A Land of Peach Blossoms:Xidi

The strongest characteristics of building groups at Huizhou are: the points, A partial survey of Xidi, in which we can see the organic structure of black and white points, lines and surfaces.A partial survey of Xidi, in which we can see the organic structure of black and white points,  lines and surfaces composed of black tiles and white walls and the organic combination of black, white and gray colors, which constitute a Chinese ink-and-wash painting foiled in green hills and blue waters, elegant and refined. Originally, white walls of Huizhou dwellings were not for decoration but an ecological choice at that time, because whitewashed walls can protect against moisture and reflect sunshine. Afterward, with the development of culture, especially influenced by the Huangshan Mountains Painting School, the beauty of white and black colors has been more and more approbated by the people. Huizhou’s developed culture and a number of intellectuals’ quiet and simple but elegant aesthetic sentiment may be another cause of the popularization of black tiles and white walls. Xidi Village is  called “a residence at the land of peach blossoms”, 8 kilometers to the east of Yi county town. The whole village keeps an integrated village structure and environment.

Xidi Village is a place where the Hu clan lives in compact communities. Streets and lanes in the village are zigzag, deep and changeful, with a delightful and cordial constructive scale. They are ways for communication as well as places for villagers’ intercourse.

Everywhere can be found high or low “horsehead walls”, door-visor with refined carving, arches and arch-doorways (A doorway with an arch form, whose upper part is half-round, built by bricks), varied and vivid lattice windows and point-like windows (The windows of this kind are very small, like point.). Streets and lanes link gardens and yards, the later link patios, with a changeable and flowing special rhythm. Besides ordinary dwellings there are tall and upright ancestral halls, buildings for young ladies’ living and memorial archways. Trees, streamlets and fields surround the village. Every building has sloping roofs towards different directions and corresponding horse-head walls which form black surfaces and lines foiled by the huge white walls. Zigzag streets, different directions of buildings and different height, storey and dimensions constitute a building style with organic changes; nevertheless, building materials and basic combinatorial mode are very accordant, so a sight of dwelling groups with both a highly unified style and a lot of diversification come into being. Of course, building’s indoor colors are much more rich than its appearance. Usually, luxurious houses use red girders and pillars, the woodcarvings at important parts of which are decorated by golden powder; but generally intellectuals’ families preferred doors, windows and furniture painted by varnish, with their original color of wood being left. In fact, Huizhou dwellings did not copy existent colors in nature, but made a clear contrast against blue hills and green waters. and they are very harmonious with the colors of sky, land, hills and waters.

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