junya ishigami sculpts poetic landscape 'water garden' at japanese oasis art biotop
 

junya ishigami sculpts poetic landscape 'water garden' at japanese oasis art biotop

titled ‘art biotop water garden’, junya ishigami’s earthwork landscape is nestled among the foothills of japan’s nasu mountains. the sprawling environment, which designboom exclusively previewed with ishigami at his studio, is generated with the aim of obscuring the boundary between architecture, landscape architecture, art, and environmentalism. while the garden is carefully modeled and reliant on technological artifacts, the work is both highly artificial and undeniably natural — a living organism that grows and changes by its own inherent dynamics. the temporal characteristics of the landscape are revealed with the existence of former, existing, and future layers.


image © nikissimo inc.

 

 

while junya ishigami had opened ‘water garden’ at art biotop nasu during the summer of 2018, the project has now been honored with the inaugural obel awardthe invasive, large-scale project calls for the relocation of an entire forest tree by tree. with this endeavor, the artist emphasizes the meaning of great respect and care for the environment. the approach — sculpting space without the imposition of built objects — relies in large part on the emotions and sensations of the viewer and is founded on the context and the qualities of the landscape. the result is a highly poetic landscape that acutely influences the visitor on an emotional level.


image © nikissimo inc.

 

 

with ‘water garden’, ishigami invites both visitors and professionals within the fields of architecture to foster a greater understanding and respect for the natural environment. the project guides the viewer’s interaction with nature, demonstrating how one might leave an imprint on it without destroying it. martha schwartz, chair of the obel award jury comments: ‘ishigami’s architecture is the architecture of space, not of object, which is a departure from conventional architecture. he discards the idea of architecture as a built, utilitarian structure by reversing the business- as-usual process, which is: building first, landscape second — if at all. instead, with the project ‘water garden,’ ishigami leaves us wondering: is this architecture, landscape architecture, or art?’


image © nikissimo inc.

 

 

the obel award is a new, international prize for architectural achievement presented annually by the henrik frode obel foundation, founded by henrik frode obel (1942-2014). the prize is €100,000 and an artwork by tomás saraceno. the aim of the award is to honor recent and outstanding architectural contributions to human development all over the world. these contributions should offer seminal solutions to urgent problems. the award is given to works or projects from the past five years. it can be given to an architect or group of architects, and the award-winning project can range from a manifesto to a masterplan and include buildings, landscape projects, and exhibitions.


image © nikissimo inc.


image © nikissimo inc.


image © yasuyuki takagi


image © yasuyuki takagi


image © yasuyuki takagi

junya ishigami's art biotop project of a water garden in tochigi, japan opens
junya ishigami gave designboom a preview of the project at his studio — see more here
image © designboom

 

 

project info:

 

project title: art biotop water garden

office: junya ishigami+associates

location: art biotop nasu, tochigi, japan

year: 2013-2018

photography: nikissimo inc., yasuyuki takagi

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