for the 57th edition of the venice art biennale, the japan pavilion presents a solo exhibition of hiroshima-born artist takahiro iwasaki. featuring a selection of three-dimensional works made with everyday familiar objects and entitled ‘turned upside down, it’s a forest’, the show conveys the importance of understanding that everything depends on perspective and invites the visitors to embrace different ways of looking.

japan pavilion venice art biennale takahiro iwasaki designboom
image © designboom

 

 

curated by meruro washida, the japan pavilion includes a comprehensive take on takahiro iwasaki’s work. known for transforming common objects with his fine handiwork, the exhibition showcases steel towers made from the threads pulled out of towels and construction cranes from bookmark strings attached to books. always referencing his birthplace, the japanese artist uses figurative representation to make small interventions that result in a strong and long lasting impression. as well as hiroshima’s experience of the atomic bomb, these art pieces know that the power of miniature atoms is so strong that it can destroy a whole city.

japan pavilion venice art biennale takahiro iwasaki designboom
image © designboom

 

 

sitting in the center of the pavilion is ‘reflection model (ship of theseus)’, a new work that takes a shrine in the coastal region of japan and reflects it. ‘however since the reflected image is conveyed without fluctuation, it appears as an unrealistic representation that captures a fleeting and stationary moment in time and space. the fact that the shrine is depicted in its broken state after the typhoon is a conscious decision on iwasaki’s part, who focuses on how its structure is made to protect its important areas by enabling sections of it to be intentionally destroyed when inflected with external force, thus eluding any substantial damage,’ says meruro washida.

 

 

 

with themes regarding japanese culture and history, as well as chemical pollution and natural resources, the japanese pavilion at the venice art biennale is one that must not be missed.

japan pavilion venice art biennale takahiro iwasaki designboom
image © designboom

japan pavilion venice art biennale takahiro iwasaki designboom
see more of this project on designboom here
image © designboom

japan pavilion venice art biennale takahiro iwasaki designboom
image © designboom

japan pavilion venice art biennale takahiro iwasaki designboom
image © designboom

japan pavilion venice art biennale takahiro iwasaki designboom
image © designboom

japan pavilion venice art biennale takahiro iwasaki designboom
image © designboom

japan pavilion venice art biennale takahiro iwasaki designboom
image © designboom

japan pavilion venice art biennale takahiro iwasaki designboom
image © designboom

japan pavilion venice art biennale takahiro iwasaki designboom
refrection model (perfect bliss), 2010-2012, ©takahiro iwasaki, courtesy of urano

japan pavilion venice art biennale takahiro iwasaki designboom
out of disorder (coney island), 2012, ©takahiro iwasaki, courtesy of urano

 

 

  • I found that the most memoral piece of the exhibition was ‘Reflection model’, the central piece with the hole in the ground. This was the first piece that a came across as you approach it from underneath the gallery before you enter. I found however that i was far more fascinated by the process queueing for the unknown and the ability to produce sheer embarrassment in each participant than the model of the Japanese region. When poking my head through the hole in the ground I found myself so distracted by the people inside the gallery staring down at me that I wasn’t so interested by the work surrounding my head which simply looks like a city scape rather than one particular that has been hit by a typhoon. I then found that the rest of the work was also almost irrelevant as that strong emotion of shock and embarrassment took centre stage, due to this, although this Pavilion was one of my favorites because of the centre piece I actually feel that it was badly curated.

    Cassi Thorne says:

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