Tadashi Kawamata’s Monumental Wooden Artworks- Nisha Designs

Chaises ©Leo van der Kleij

Tadashi Kawamata is a man with a material, wood. With this he builds cabins, observatories, nests and monumental frescos that are at home both in galleries and in the heart of towns and cities. While you might think that the artist, educated at the Tokyo University of the Arts, would use only high quality woods, the reality is rather different. Kawamata instead uses recycled wood from furniture from junk shops, old crates and other left over materials. These recycled materials have been elevated by art, both make for beautiful creative objects, and have a low environmental impact. 

The artist works between Paris and Tokyo and began attracting global attention in the 1970s with his in situ works entitled By Land. He installed wood cabins in the most inaccessible parts of New York and Tokyo, such as Madison Square. A few years later he created Les chaises de traverse, a huge pile of wooden chairs suspended between the floor and the ceiling in the Delme synagogue. A few miles the artist also filled the Saint-Livier Hotel in Metz with a wall of chairs. In a short film by Gilles Coudert, the artist explains how each of the chairs represents a different person with a different history, and the wall is as if each of these people were linked together. In 2010 the artist scaled up, setting up a cabin in front of the Centre Pompidou before his chef d’oeuvre at the Renaissance Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. 

Engaged artworks

Tadashi Kawamata, Wave, 2016 Installation in situ. Éléments de mobilier en bois récupérés. Vue d’exposition “Tadashi Kawamata. Under the Water – Metz”, Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2016 © Tadashi Kawamata © Centre Pompidou-Metz / Photo Noémie Gotti

Tadashi Kawamata, Wave, 2016 Installation in situ. Éléments de mobilier en bois récupérés. Vue d’exposition “Tadashi Kawamata. Under the Water – Metz”, Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2016 © Tadashi Kawamata © Centre Pompidou-Metz / Photo Noémie Gotti

In 2011 the work of Kawamata took on a new dimension following the tsunami that hit Japan. In Tokyo during the earthquake, he soon left for Paris, while people at home were on the front line helping one another, the artist wondered how he could maintain a link with them. He soon made one of his most emblematic works Under the Water a huge wooden wave recreating the tsunami that ravaged the Japanese coastlines. The work was exhibited at the Centre Pompidou Metz and at the gallery Kamel Mennour where the artist often shows.

Some would like to categorise it as an activist project, but Kawamata firmly rejects the appellation, I’m not an activist, he says, preferring instead to think about the political and social aspects of an issue in a different way. His work would be better described as Land Art, a name given to him when he was appointed the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2014. The contemporary art movement however also uses natural materials but is more oriented towards work that uses nature as its canvas, whereas Kawamata is more at home in the urban or public spaces. 

Ephemeral artworks

Tadashi Kawamata Under the Water Metz 2016 Installation in situ. Eléments de mobilier en bois récupérés. Vue d’exposition Tadashi Kawamata. Under the Water Metz, Centre Pompidou-Metz 2016 © Tadashi Kawamata © Centre Pompidou-Metz Photo Noémie Gotti

Tadashi Kawamata Under the Water Metz 2016 Installation in situ. Eléments de mobilier en bois récupérés. Vue d’exposition Tadashi Kawamata. Under the Water Metz, Centre Pompidou-Metz 2016 © Tadashi Kawamata © Centre Pompidou-Metz Photo Noémie Gotti

The work of Tadashi Kawamata is marked by its ephemeral nature. His monumental wooden creations both infiltrate and accompany buildings, but are easily dismounted and given a new artistic life.

Nothing is recurring, nothing is permanent states the artist. No material can survive for eternity, everything is temporary. It is just a question of time, even a building that lasts 1000 years is temporary. Nothing is resistant to the wear of time, not men, not walls. 

Destruction n°32 ©Archives kamel mennour
Destruction n°20 ©Archives kamel mennour
©Photo archives kamel mennour

Via: https://pen-online.com/arts/tadashi-kawamatas-monumental-wooden-artworks/?scrolled=1

Buaisou, Indigo Dyes from Leaves to Jeans- Nisha Designs

©Kyoko Nishimoto/BUAISOU

While indigo dye has been produced since the 19th century in Japan, it was only in the early 20th century that it became widespread. It took off most prominently in Tokushima, 600 kilometres from Tokyo on the island of Shikoku. At the time, there were almost 2000 cultivators, today there remain only five. Among them are the craftsperson collective Buaisou, whose mission is to preserve the ancestral art of indigo blue dye.

Buaisou was created in 2015 by Kakuo Kaji who responded to an open call from the Japanese Ministry for Education, offering to train up to two people in the craft of indigo dye. The aim was to preserve this art form before it was lost forever. Buaisou was born, establishing itself as a collective of farmers and dyers who follow through the whole process from start to finish.

‘At Buaisou, we are involved in every step”, says Kaji. “From planting the indigo seeds to producing the dyes and to dyeing the fabric’.

Indigo, the unique art, rooted in Japanese culture

©Kyoko Nishimoto/BUAISOU

The founder explains how he became interested in indigo dye at the age of 17 years old. ‘I moved from Aomori to Tokyo to study textile design at Zokei University. This is when I first became interested in indigo dyeing. I fell in love with the process and the patience it requires – it is unique compared to other forms of plant dyeing in that it takes significantly more time. It is an art form.’ 

Today, Buaisou is run by six people. Five craftsmen who are responsible for farming and dyeing, and Kaji, the director of the team. ‘We wanted to create the colour all by ourselves’, he explains. ‘Everything is done on-site at our farm, as much as possible’.

It is a lengthy process which can take over a year and a half to complete, ‘From seeding to finishing composting indigo leaves to make indigo dye (Sukumo), it’ll take over a year. Then we have to dry our indigo dye out, which will take about half a year’, Kaji adds.

©Kyoko Nishimoto/BUAISOU

With a unique approach, completely devoted to indigo dying, Buaisou attracts worldwide interest, organising workshops with artists, designers, professors, students, tourists and even celebrities such as Kanye West.
‘We have many inquiries from all over the world’, tells Kaji. ‘Most people don’t know what the indigo is. Whether it’s synthetic indigo powder from abroad or indigo paste from abroad, people just call it “indigo”. We’re all about education’. The workshops allow visitors to create the indigo dye only from indigo leaves, lye, bran and shell lime in order to produce a natural pigment which can be used for all sorts of artistic purposes.

Going from strength to strength, since 2018 Buaisou has been producing their own hand-dyed jeans. ‘Our future goal is to grow our own cotton and weave it ourselves’, says Kaji. This is all part of the broader project of raising awareness about indigo dye across Japan and modernising attitudes in order for the craft to continue to be passed down through generations.

©Kyoko Nishimoto/BUAISOU
©Kyoko Nishimoto/BUAISOU
©Kyoko Nishimoto/BUAISOU
©Kyoko Nishimoto/BUAISOU
©Kyoko Nishimoto/BUAISOU

Via: https://pen-online.com/design/buaisou-indigo-dyes-from-leaves-to-jeans/?scrolled=2

moriyuki ochiai architects sets a constellation of stargazing tea rooms in bisei, japan- Nisha Designs

moriyuki ochiai architects sets a constellation of stargazing tea rooms in bisei, japan

moriyuki ochiai architects sets a constellation of tea rooms under the stars, a cluster of tea rooms offering a view of the surrounding scenery and the starlit sky as a teahouse connecting people to the stars and nature located in the town of bisei, okayama prefecture, japan, known as a sanctuary for stargazing. the site is surrounded by rolling hills and distant mountains and offers a view of a spectacular landscape.

tea room in the fog

moriyuki ochiai architects’s pieces are able to host a variety of events held throughout the year by the astronomy club and the tea ceremony club as well as a performance stage for concerts and plays. named after two rivers running through it, the town of bisei (jap. ‘beautiful stars’) is found in okayama prefecture which is also known for being the birthplace of eisai, a japanese buddhist priest, credited with introducing green tea to japan. in alignment with its heritage, the constellation of tea rooms is also in harmony with the surrounding undulating terrain, thus creating a landscape in which the indoor and outdoor expand seamlessly like the flow of a river under the milky way.

uster of tea rooms offering a view of the surrounding scenery and the starlit sky

the japanese tea room was developed as an enclosed microcosm called ‘enclosure’, and as such, each unit is designed as a spatial installation where one can perceive minute changes in its natural surroundings and experience the wonder and mystery of natural phenomena. meanwhile, mirrors placed on the exterior walls reflect the ever-changing outdoor environment like the water surface of rice paddies scattered across bisei, thus modifying the look and perception of the constructions throughout the day.

the constellation of tea rooms is also in harmony with the surrounding undulating terrain

visitors can experience the project as a galaxy of tea rooms built independently as they move in and around them freely. the outdoor space, taken as the space comprised between the tea rooms, the surrounding nature and the starry sky are beautifully intertwined to form a new landscape that comes in and out of view through the openings and gaps cut out from the multiple structures. the loose gathering of tea rooms forms an extension of the landscape and creates an environment enhancing the fun and joy derived from human activities. by merging together this newly formed belt of tea rooms with the idyllic hills, mountains and starry skies of bisei, the studio sought to realize a tea house that reshapes the town’s panorama.

creating a landscape in which the indoor and outdoor expand seamlessly like the flow of a river under the Milky Way.
a cluster of tea rooms
the loose gathering of tea rooms forms an extension of the landscape and creates an environment enhancing the fun and joy derived from human activities
tea ceremony
tea ceremony
tea ceremony
the open arrangement of the structures forms a stageconducivee to various events and activities by creating a space where multiple indoor and outdoor activities become possible
visitors can experience the project as a galaxy of tea rooms built independently as they move in and around them freely

the surrounding nature and the starry sky are beautifully intertwined to form a new landscape that comes in and out of view through the openings and gaps cut out from the multiple structures

project info:

design firm: moriyuki ochiai architects

team: moriyuki ochiai, jillian lei, xingguang li, marie uno, haruka amano, yuta takahashi

use: teahouse

location: bisei-okayama and awajiiland, japan

client: irbisei, nijigennomori/pasona group

constructor: takei construction, ca leading (osami hiroyama, masakazu hirose, yoshiko makabe, kazuya okuno, sanae iwamoto), soken group

special paint: osamu yamaguchi

paint: masanao uchida lighting: color kinetics japan (masaki yamashita, koki yano, miyahara yusuke)

sound system: yoshiyuki kanamori

videography: kazuma goto, noriko nishiguchi, shinichi hisamatsu, hajime kishii

tea ceremony set: nanzan ito,kenyu mitsuhashi,yuko nakano

tea ceremony: fumiko miyake , fujimi ishikawa

cooperator: norihiro ariyoshi (soken group), yoshinori takedo (grop)

photo: fumio araki

completion: january 2018

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: maria erman | designboom

Via: https://www.designboom.com/architecture/moriyuki-ochiai-architects-constellation-stargazing-tea-rooms-japan-04-23-2018/

Living, is the Meaning of Life

Yuriko Takagi is a photographer who worked with Issey Miyake. Three years ago, 65-year-old Takagi met a piece of forest land in Karuizawa which covers an area of 1440 square meters. Then she passed her driver’s test, decorated the house and moved into the forest. “As a woman, you got to be independent, living your own life is a lifelong career”.

“Running your own life is a career. Living itself is meaningful enough”