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He spoke later of his fondness for the garden's blending of natural and human-built structures.Soon after the move to Shanghai, Pei's mother developed cancer.In 1983, he won the Pritzker Prize, sometimes called the Nobel Prize of architecture.Pei's ancestry traces back to the Ming Dynasty, when his family moved from Anhui province to Suzhou, but most importantly his family were directors of the Bank of China which later on funded the construction of important projects including the Kips Bay project in New York.
Ieoh Ming Pei was born on 26 April 1917 to Tsuyee Pei and Lien Kwun, and the family moved to Hong Kong one year later. As a boy, Pei was very close to his mother, a devout Buddhist who was recognized for her skills as a flautist.
The Shizilin Garden, built in the 14th century by a Buddhist monk, was especially influential.
Its unusual rock formations, stone bridges, and waterfalls remained etched in Pei's memory for decades.
While studying in Shanghai, he had closely examined the catalogs for various institutions of higher learning around the world. seemed to me to be mostly fun and games", he said in 2000.
The architectural program at the University of Pennsylvania stood out to him. Pei was fascinated by the representations of college life in the films of Bing Crosby, which differed tremendously from the academic atmosphere in China. "Since I was too young to be serious, I wanted to be part of it ...
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