In March, my project Working With/In the Gap was exhibited in the AGxKANSAI exhibition at Kyoto University of the Arts in Kyoto, Japan. In this exhibition, I present a pre-publication of the book-as-catalogue Working With/In the Gap: Japan-ness in Architecture of Experience. In this specific exhibition, I focus on the work of Arakawa and Gins as presented throughout the book. The audience can turn the spreads, as to reveal the complexity of the project. A virtual tour of the on-site exhibition is availbe now.
March 2022 | Kyoto University of the Arts, Kyoto, Japan |
Working With/In the Gap
In the past four years, I have conducted creative practice research, a form of academic research primarily driven by creations in the arts and design, through the Radical Materiality Research Group at KU Leuven in Brussels and Ghent (BE). In this doctoral research architectural habit(at)s that approach space in terms of objects are recast through the lens of Japanese architectural practice of 'ma'. The Japanese practice of 'ma', a practice of 'full emptiness', can be understood as a direct engagement with the sensorial charged field that emerges by virtue of bodies movement. In this context, I have reformulated Japanese spatial tactics from the Edo Period, with a background in Shinto Religion and Zen Buddhism, as spatial tactics; to become an attuned architect guided by tiny perceptions; to construct vital architecture motivated by un/balancing procedurals; and to engage in a sited design process informed by (m)aware play. This resulted in the pre-publication Working With/In the Gap: Japan-ness in Architecture of Experience.
AGxKANSAI 2022: Art and Philosophy in the 22nd Century After ARAKAWA+GINS, an international conference, is organized jointly by Studies of the Architectural Body Research Group at the Institute of Oriental and Occidental Studies, Kansai University and Kyoto University of the Art. Having suffered much pain and endured much hardship during the COVID-19 crisis, now at the end of 2021, we humankind are slowly beginning the process toward regaining what we are forced to abandon. However, as many insist, we won't come back to the same world we used to live in, thus new values and life styles are needed. The contemporary artist Shusaku Arakawa and the poet Madeline Gins, from the 1990s onward, sought the creation of a new "environment" in which the senses of our living bodies are transformed. Based on this new sense of the body and on a critique of existing values, they sought to envision a truly livable society. The art and philosophy of Arakawa and Gins, therefore, provides valuable clues in a search for a new way of life required in the post-COVID-19 era.
Who are we and where are we going?—"puzzle creatures to ourselves, we are visitations of inexplicability." Arakawa and Gins posed these questions via multiple modes in the most profound manner, proposing concrete (albeit tentative) visions for the coming century. Recall that Arakawa always urged us: "do it, now!" Need we be reminded that the 22nd century is coming soon, now!