The serene, elliptical pool in the John Madejski Garden – the huge interior courtyard at the V&A – has been transformed by Chinese artist Xu Bing to become an ethereal fantasy garden, inspired by a fifth-century Chinese fable called ‘Tao Hua Yuan’ (‘The Peach Blossom Spring’). ‘Mountains’ (actually, big chunks of rock from different regions of China) surround the pool. Ceramic animals roam the peaks, fish frolic in the shallow water and among the slopes are miniature houses. There are also tiny TV screens and other unexpected elements to discover. The dream-like installation is especially magical after dark, and it has appeal for both children and adults.
In the museum's TT Tsui Gallery, there will also be an exhibition of Xu Bing's work – including examples of his large-scale calligraphy – called 'Travelling to the Wonderland: Sketches, Calligraphy and Paintings by Xu Bing' for the duration of the installation.