tadao ando debuts major solo exhibition at museum SAN in south korea

tadao ando debuts major solo exhibition at museum SAN in south korea

museum SAN celebrates 10 years with ‘tadao ando-youth’

 

Commemorating its 10th anniversary, Museum SAN in South Korea has launched ‘Tadao Ando-Youth,’ a major solo exhibition by the renowned Japanese architect. Located at 275 meters above sea level and at the foot of a total area of about 73,000 sqm, the museum skillfully coexists with its mountainous context. Ando was invited to design the complex, which officially opened to the public in May 2013, alongside the completion of a separate museum of light and space. With that said, this is the first time that the architect showcases his works in a space he designed, marking a milestone in his stellar career.

tadao ando debuts major solo exhibition at museum SAN in south korea
Museum SAN in South Korea | image courtesy the museum

 

 

Running between April 1st and July 30th, 2023, the exhibition covers 250 masterpieces by the architect — starting with the first half of his career (1969 to mid-1990s) before jumping to the Naoshima project, in progress for 30 years, his global public works since the mid-1990s, and finally the ‘Bourse de Commerce’ renovation project completed in 2020. The museum also held a press conference with the architect on March 31st to inaugurate the opening. 

tadao ando debuts major solo exhibition at museum SAN in south korea
image courtesy Museum SAN

 

 

delving into ANDO’S legacy through FIVE themes 

 

The title of the exhibition, ‘Youth’, recalls Tadao Ando’s ‘endless challenge’ with architecture, his belief in designing better every day, and his conscious view of life. Known for his minimalist exploration of exposed concrete, the Japanese architect not only had a monumental impact on the discipline itself but also caught the general public’s attention — participating in large-scale public works as well as urban planning projects across the world.

 

His current exhibition at Museum SAN takes visitors on tour across five sections: ‘Primitive Shapes of Space’, ‘Landscape Genesis’, ‘An Urban Challenge’, ‘Dialogues with History’, and ‘Projects in Naoshima’. Along with the show, the museum prepared two special corners: the first one spotlights Korean projects designed by Tadao Ando — including the Bontae Museum (Jeju, 2012), the Church of the Heart (Yeoju, 2011-2015), and LG Art Center (Seoul, 2022). The second displays a series of sketches, models, and photographs that depict Museum SAN’s architectural grandiosity, programs, and scale. 

 

Taking over Galleries 1,2,3 and the main hallway, ‘Tadao Ando-Youth’ will be accompanied by an installation titled ‘Space of Light’ — scheduled for the sculpture garden in May 2023 and designed as a small-scale version of the architect’s iconic ‘Church of Light’. A series of lectures and show-related events will also take place once the exhibition concludes. 

tadao ando debuts major solo exhibition at museum SAN in south korea
‘Tadao Ando-Youth’ exhibition | image courtesy Museum SAN

 

 

The solo exhibition kicks off with ‘Primitive Shapes of Space’, showcasing Tadao Ando’s architectural works from 1969 to the mid-1990s. The architect’s work, still burgeoning today, is scattered worldwide and highly regarded for his consistent use of exposed concrete. Refined with the ‘Urban Guerilla Housing Project’, Ando’s vision celebrates the fundamental themes of light and geometry. He also focuses his exploration on modernizing the archetype of traditional Japanese houses and, more generally, reinterpreting the archetype of space and the meaning/value of spatiality. 

tadao ando debuts major solo exhibition at museum SAN in south korea
displaying 250 major projects | image courtesy Museum SAN

 

 

The second section, ‘Landscape Genesis‘, introduces Tadao’s more open and natural architecture. ‘The landscape here is not just a short-sighted meaning, such as landscaping or design, but a concept that includes the memories of a community shared in the region. Ando carefully examines these landscapes and reveals his identity as an architect in an original architectural way,’ writes the museum. Such projects include the Nakanoshima Children’s Book Forest Library and the Fort Worth Museum of Contemporary Art.

 

Moving on to the third corner, ‘An Urban Challenge’, this part of the exhibition highlights Ando’s commitment to honoring public spaces and cultural hubs amid increased urbanization and industrialization. Examples include ‘Manhattan Penthouse III’, The Pulitzer Museum of Art, ’21_21 Design’, Shanghai Poly Grand Theater, and ‘Ground Zero’.

 

An installation space will separately introduce the ‘Naoshima Project’, which has been in progress for 30 years. In the late 1980s, Ando Tadao kickstarted a cultural project in hopes to regenerate Naoshima, a small island in the Seto Inland Sea. Completed buildings include the Beneuse House Museum, Jijung Museum of Art, Lee Woohwan Art Museum, and Valley Gallery. The resulting progression reveals an architectural landscape that evolves like an organism.

tadao ando debuts major solo exhibition at museum SAN in south korea
detail shot of exhibited work | image courtesy Museum SAN

 

 

Lastly, for section 4, ‘Dialogue with History’, the museum introduces Ando’s renovation projects leading up to ‘Burse de Commerce’, completed in 2020. ‘Ando Tadao approaches his architecture in a context where various situations are three-dimensionally involved, not individual. As a result, Ando considers himself a part of architecture’s history. Above all, this attitude is confirmed by his unique approach to the theme of old architectural refurbishment or regeneration and his respect for the historical memory and spirit ingrained in the place. His architecture shows the power of the context of planting modern space in the past, connecting the past and present, in the moments settled in history and in the flow of history,‘ concludes Museum SAN.

 

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exhibition view | image courtesy Museum SAN

tadao ando debuts major solo exhibition at museum SAN in south korea
‘Hill of the Buddha’ (2015) | image © Shigeo Ogawa

tadao ando debuts major solo exhibition at museum SAN in south korea
‘Koshino House’ (19811984) | image © Tadao Ando Architect & Associates

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Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2002) | image © Mitsuo Matsuoka

tadao ando debuts major solo exhibition at museum SAN in south korea
Shanghai Poly Theater (2014) | image © Shigeo Ogawa

tadao ando debuts major solo exhibition at museum SAN in south korea
Stone Sculpture Museum (2010) | image © Shigeo Ogawa

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Chichu Art Museum, Naoshima (2004) | image © Tadao Ando Architect & Associates

tadao ando debuts major solo exhibition at museum SAN in south korea
architect Tadao Ando | image courtesy Museum SAN

tadao ando debuts major solo exhibition at museum SAN in south korea
‘Ground Zero Project’ proposal (2001) | image © Tadao Ando Architect & Associates

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‘Nakanoshima Project II – Urban Egg’ (proposal) | image © Tadao Ando Architect & Associates

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