David Diao: Documents of Diaspora
My Architect: A Son’s Journey

Born in Chengdu in 1943, David Diao has produced a body of work that speaks to the vagaries of formal aesthetics, art-historical consensus, personal circumstance, and geopolitical succession. Here through poetic leaps of imagination, UCCA connects these themes with filmic documents that speak to Diao’s specific diasporic experience, works of both unabashed kitsch and academic rigor.


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About the Film

The notion of architecture as constructed memory is a major feature in Diao’s series of canvases produced through research on his lost childhood home Da Hen Li House.

For this installment, UCCA screens a documentary with similar concerns.

Influential twentieth-century architect Louis Kahn—designer behind the Phillips Exeter Academy Library and the National Assembly Building of Bangladesh among other iconic constructions—was also the father to several children before his death in 1974. My Architect: A Son’s Journey follows filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn in a search for his father, the monuments carrying his name, and the personal relationships hidden behind his grandiose persona.


My Architect: A Son’s Journey

Director: Nathaniel Kahn

Starring: Frank Gehry, Philip Johnson, Louis Kahn

Genre: Documentary

Country: USA

Runtime: 116 min.