07 December 2006

02 Toyo Ito: The New Real In Architecture

On the evening of 6 October 2006, Tokyo was completely harrassed by one of the heaviest rains they had in several years. I was at the reception of a solo exhibition of Ito-san 'Toyo Ito: The New Real In Architecture' with Tee (our Narong Othavorn who was on the mission for art4d) at Tokyo Opera City. Very exciting moment. A lot of people I did not see for some years.

This is part A of the exhibition which features mainly the newest and most exciting project of his now, Taichung Opera Hall in Taiwan with the idea of 'Emerging Grid'. (I also wrote a small review on this exhibition and the idea of 'Emerging Grid' in Domus Magazine, December 2006 - www.edidomus.it ). There is a very big model of the building with very cute landscape (transparent trees) - We love Ito-san because of this!
(this image is a courtesy of Tokyo Opera City Gallery, thanks to Yoshida-san)

Looking through the gigantic model of Taichung Opera Hall. What a space!

This is in the model, showing how those functions would be housed in such a building. :O

This is how the super thin concrete slab which will be used in Taichung Opera Hall is constructed. It is a small building just completed in Kakamigahara, Japan. Actually I have seen the same technique he used at the main building of Fukuoka Island City Park, very exciting. This has to be credited to Sasaki-san, the super structural engineer who often works with Ito-san. Look at the wooden mold for the concrete! The Japanese craftmen are really the master on this kind of thing!
(this image is a courtesy of Tokyo Opera City Gallery, thanks to Yoshida-san)

Entering this part, I had to take my shoes off (very Japanese indeed). The glarry white room with curvy terrain showing 6 models of the recent works of Ito-san which are made by the real materials they were built.
(this image is a courtesy of Tokyo Opera City Gallery, thanks to Yoshida-san)

The cuttest thing here is the way you interact with the models: you have to sit in a small hole on the terrain to see the models up close. Very nice.

Wandering in the bleak space, and soft terrain. I was feeling like sitting on the floor all the time. But nobody did so... :( At the end I did not dare to be 'different'.

In this space, we finally met and greeted Ito-san. Looking tired but happy, he was surrounded by zillions people who wanted to congratulate him on this special occasion. Thanks to Kobayashi-san (one of the senior staffs of Ito's office) who brought me cut all the long line of people waiting to see him - being foreigner in Japan sometimes helps. :)

The last space is the chronological display of 35 years of Ito's office. This is really amazing, since he has kept all the records from his first house sketches and diary! Did he know by then that he was going to be so great and people would want to do this kind of exhibition out of his works? Maybe he did....
(Sor told me after seeing the picture of this part that he has to start keeping all sketches we always trash everyday, just in case - in case in the next 35 years we would have to day....!)
(this image is a courtesy of Tokyo Opera City Gallery, thanks to Yoshida-san)

At the entrance, there was a performance of this Italian craftman who makes the Ripple Chair of Ito-san. Very impressive to see it real!

I bought the exhibition catalogue which is done by Akira Suzuki-san. Although some of the images are not at their best quality, it is a very nice catalogue. Also there two other books, very cute. They are books for kids on Ito-san architecture! Love them!

Before heading for dinner with friends and those who are 'ito-san's kids' (they used to work with ito-san, or collaborate with him somehow), i got also some souvineirs for allzone guys....