By Marjolijn KAISER

Doors are fascinating. Not only are they one of the most fundamental elements of any (functional) architectural structure, they also carry a much more symbolic meaning; one of transition, in- and exclusion, opportunities, and even personal relations. A door can be wide open for you, or slammed in your face; you can get a foot in the door, or, if you’re less lucky, your fingers stuck between two; sometimes you need to go knocking, other times we slip in through the back door; your specific skills will open many doors, but some things are only discussed behind closed doors. Doors allow us to let the world in, and shut her out; to enter the world, and hide from it; to distinguish between friend and foe; to keep our houses warm, and express our anger or frustration. What lies behind the doors below? Who occupy the spaces they protect? I don’t know, but the doors themselves have plenty of stories to tell: through the so-called duilian (couplets) pasted or painted on them, through their broken glass, their crooked frames, their open or closed postures, their chipped wood, and their dragon-faced handles. Doors are fascinating, did I mention that already?

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