Winter turns to spring, summer turns to autumn. We sense the shifts not just by the changes in the temperature and the scenery, but in the smells carried on the breeze and the quality of the sunlight. Over two thirds of Japan’s population lives in its cities, which make up just a small fraction of its landmass. And yet we are still able to read nature with our bodies.
Japan’s temperate climate and its mountainous topography gave birth to a unique natural environment, which in turn fostered an ancient cosmology and spirituality which have greatly influenced our culture and arts. In “Sensing Nature: Yoshioka Tokujin, Shinoda Taro, Kuribayashi Takashi” we think about how the innate human ability to perceive nature (to sense nature) and the Japanese view of nature exist in our urbanized and modernized world. We also ask how those views are reflected in contemporary art and design practices.
Sensing Nature: Tokujin Yoshioka, Takashi Kuribayashi, Taro Shinoda, Mori Art Museum, Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Japan, July 24 – November 7
The 9 Hours is the brand new capsule hotel unveiled by Tokyo-based Cubic Corp. Designed in a collaboration with designer Fumie Shibata of Design Studio S, it looks nothing like its predecessors and represents a revolution in the capsule concept.
“By covering surface of an object with transparent glass beads, the existence of the object itself is replaced by “a husk of light”, and the new vision “the cell of an image” (PixCell) is shown. Most of the motifs, like stuffed animals are found through the internet. I search some auction sites and choose from the images which appear on a monitor as pixel. However, the stuffed animals which actually have been purchased and sent have real flesh feel and smell, and have a discrepancy with images on the monitor. I then transpose them to PixCell in turn.” – Kohei Nawa
AD pointed us to the new video by Berlin based experimental musician Efdemin. The video includes fleeting images of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s, 860-880 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago
A few years ago, the A House was the hub of Copenhagen’s creative elite. Now the building has been transformed into Stay, which offers a couple of hundred apartments that come with space, freedom and a view. Booking an apartment gives you access to the biggest rooftop terrace in Scandinavia as well as a meticulous design, which can be seen in everything from the front of the house to the hat stand. Accordingly, Copenhagen is no longer lagging behind when it comes to housing guests, who want more than a place to spend the night.
Stay, Copenhagen, Denmark
Ann Van Hoey was an industrial engineer before she discovered ceramics. “Étude Géométrique” (“Geometric Study”) is the name for a series of five bowls which impressively embody the quintessence of her artistry in a contemporary manner. The basis for these pieces, i.e. thinly rolled pieces of clay cut into semicircles, are first joined and shaped into perfectly hemispherical bowls on the potter’s wheel. When the clay has dried so as to be leather-hard, Van Hoey uses a pair of scissors to cut triangular segments from it and joins the ends so as to overlap, thus opening up the path towards new three-dimensional shapes whose logic and clarity do not only fascinate minimalists alone. Without any décor, the clay’s colour and material characteristics are displayed to perfection. The combination of lines and surfaces makes for charming sculptural effects. Inspired by origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, Van Hoey’s crafting technique results in unusual creations that trigger new chains of associations.
Architect and designer, Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance designed the gallery space for BSL. He also designed the displays for jewelry which include four models in white resin which are at the confluence of paleontology and design.
Opening Exhibition, May 7 – July 24, by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, for Galerie BSL, Paris
“I remember long sublime walks in the Welsh mountains with my father, when suddenly a fighter plane would rip through the sky, and shatter everything. It was so exciting, loud and overwhelming; it would literally take our breath away. The sound would arrive from nowhere, all you would see was a shadow and then the plane was gone.
At the time harrier jump jets were at the cutting edge of technology but to me they were like dinosaurs, prehistoric, from a time before words.”
– Fiona Banner
Tate Britain Duveens Commission 2010, by Fiona Banner,
at Tate Britain, 28 June 2010 – 3 January 2011
While the 1950s Catalan façade has been left untouched stylistically, architects Carlos Ferrater and Juan Trias de Bes have made some major changes to the former bank while retaining its symmetrical simplicity. The nine-storey building’s unassuming façade opens to a light-drenched atrium, around which the hotel rooms have been designed. Crossing the atrium via a floating catwalk, guests pass into a lobby before being drawn to a split-level mezzanine platform – flanked on one side by Moments restaurant and on the other by Banker’s Bar – from where they view the central Blanc lounge below. “Previously visitors walked down into the building, so we designed an elevated ramp for the gallery entrance to make it feel as though you are walking on air,” says de Bes. “By placing black reflective stone at floor level, there is a multiplying effect to the perceived height of the windows and atrium.”
The building’s character also provided much inspiration to Patricia Urquiola, who knew she must come up with a visual story specific to Barcelona while hinting at the Oriental roots of the Mandarin Oriental brand. “I noticed all this light flooding into the building, and wanted to harness it to mirror the light that shines in this Mediterranean city,” comments Urquiola. “Then I thought of how a white glove represents elegance and service. Closing my eyes, I knew there had to be a continuity of design flowing through the spaces; one point of view. But I also wanted there to be a sense of memory here.”
The recent Oceanic and African Art Auction at Sotheby’s in Paris included this Kulango Pounder Spoon from Côte d’Ivoire.
Kulango Pounder Spoon, Hammer Price: € 78,750, Oceanic and African Art Auction,
Sale PF1017, Sotheby’s, Paris