Poster of Anticlimax Poetry Sakamoto’s Architecture

Echoing its 2014 architecture exhibition “KAZUO SHINOHARA,” Power Station of Art is proud to present from 10th Nov, 2015 through 21st Feb, 2016 the solo exhibition of architectural designs by Kazunari Sakamoto, Japanese architect and educator, as well as Kazuo Shinohara’s own student and successor. For many on the contemporary Japanese architecture scene, from Shinohara to Toyo Ito, Sakamoto and Kazuyo Sejima to the edgier, emerging generation, the practice of house design has established itself as a major form of exploring and imagining the possibilities of architecture. Individual houses, along with their distinctive, intrinsic charm, are garnering more and more attention.

Kazunari Sakamoto, Lake house, Nago 1978. Via.

Kazunari Sakamoto, Lake house, Nago 1978. Via.

Through his house designs Kazunari Sakamoto offers ways of looking at architecture and how it relates to people. From “box in box” to “house form (type)” to “free framework and covering” to “small compact unit and island plan,” in Sakamoto’s architecture one discerns the fading of “form” and the subsequent thriving of “type,” more abstract than the former, and a softness and transparency that comes with it. Indifferent to the aesthetic of more personal forms, the architect creates with extreme care forms that are ostensibly natural yet truly the result of relentless refinement. He stands in direct contrast to the “pretentious,” a stance that spares his concepts the trap of form while giving his forms an authentic aura of freedom. The concrete architectural “archetypes” — scale, site, material, structure, covering, all essential to architecture — are treated as his weapon against “another extreme of pure abstraction.”

Kazunari Sakamoto, 1970 Machiya in Minase, 1970

Kazunari Sakamoto, 1970 Machiya in Minase, 1970

The tension between concept and reality is constantly on the brink of bursting, which translates into the ambiguity, the duality of abstraction and figuration ubiquitous in Sakamoto’s work. For him, the taming of climax calls for breathtaking caution as if walking on a tightrope. Although tempting, the climactic explosion necessarily points to denouement, death and enclosure, precipitating the advent of negativity in all its myriad forms. Climax occurs in the perfect tense – it is the progressive tense prior to the culmination that shimmers as a source of delight.

Kazunari Sakamoto, Architectural Laboratory, Tokio

Kazunari Sakamoto, Architectural Laboratory, Tokio

The exhibition featuring Kazunari Sakamoto’s residential work was first shown in 2002 at Gallery MA (Tokyo), which then toured Germany, Denmark, Norway, Estonia and the Czech Republic to international critical acclaim; over 100,000 visits were made to the occasion at Munich, Germany. Particularly significant to himself, Sakamoto’s solo exhibition was held in the fall of 2008 at the Centennial Hall (designed by Kazuo Shinohara) of his alma mater, Tokyo Institute of Technology. Co-hosted in 2011 by Tongji University (Shanghai) and Southeast University (Nanjing), the exhibition “POETICS OF ARCHITECTURE: KAZUNARI SAKAMOTO’S ARCHITECTURE” had swept the country with a “Sakamoto craze.” Full of warmth and wisdom, the poetics in his architecture opened a new angle of vision for contemporary Chinese architecture — an architecture distorted by ambitions and bewitched by form – and revived in surrounding structures the meanings of daily life, thereby forcing the viewers to rethink what architecture is.

Portrait of Kazunari Sakamoto

Encompassing the complete oeuvre of Kazunari Sakamoto, including his latest projects currently underway in China, PSA’s forthcoming exhibition “Anticlimax Poetry Sakamoto’s Architecture” shall boast a most comprehensive survey of Sakamoto’s architectural career.

The image of Kazunari Sakamoto’s “anti-climax,” then, is one of capturing the perceptions of the body in a space of tension, and the progressive tense of architecture within a framework of constant meditation.

About the exhibition

Curators: Gong Yan, Guo Yimin
Architect: Kazunari Sakamoto
Venue: 3F, Power Station of Art
Organizer: Power Station of Art
Tokyo Institute of Technology Museum
Acknowledgement: Consulate-General of Japan in Shanghai
Sponsor: HuaMao Education Group
Ticket Price: FREE

Courtesy of the artist and Power Station of Art, for further information please visit www.powerstationofart.com.

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