Book look: MAK

“Eastern Promises” is the title of a catalogue published to accompany an exhibit of the same name. The exhibition, which was on display at Vienna’s Museum for Applied Arts (Museum für angewandte Kunst, MAK, from June to early October, informed about contemporary architecture in East Asia.

The catalogue – which is still on sale at the museum’s gift shop and online ( – offers a vast amount of information and dozens of photographs. Those interested in the topic should buy the book to soak up all the news.
The subject of living in big cities in China, South Korea and other countries of the region is complex and comprehensive. The exhibit’s curators did not try to disguise this fact. Their creation – staged at one of Vienna’s most vibrant museums – included a hardly digestible but impressive range of figures and essays. The catalogue enables fans of the exhibit to sit down and study it all once again and whenever they want. It features texts by Julian Worrall, Jun Jiang and others but also several statistics, building plans and graphics.

All contributors examine aspects like solutions for public space, pollution, efficiency in living, rising traffic levels and recycling. The usage of different materials and public art projects are in the focus too. Overall, “Eastern Promises” is as remarkable as the exhibition – and it contains a few surprises such as a highly unusual tree house.

Eastern Promises
By Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Andreas Fogarasi and Christian Teckert
Published by Hatje Cantz (

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