Mind & Matter


Sensing Nature

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"Snow"  (2010), by Tokujin Yoshioka. Credt: Mori Art Museum


In his 2008 “Second Nature” exhibition at Tokyo’s 2121 Design Sight gallery, Tokujin Yoshioka displayed chairs grown from crystals and fiber optic clouds suspended from the ceiling. The artist habitually crafts visually striking designs that conjure natural phenomena using simple materials.

His new show, titled “Sensing Nature: Rethinking the Japanese Perception of Nature,” at Roppongi Hills’ Mori Art Museum adds the element of motion to the mix. “Snow” is a 15-meter-long exhibit featuring hundreds of pounds of white feathers that are blown upwards to form a turbulent cloud—reminiscent of a snow storm. In a previous interview I conducted with Yoshioka, he said, “Although these installations were entirely artificial, I tried to create experiences that related to viewers’ deeply embedded memories of previously witnessed natural phenomena.”

“Sensing Nature” also features artists Takashi Kuribayashi and Taro Shinoda, and will be on display until Nov. 7, 2010.



Comments (1 Total)

  • Posted by: Anonymous | Time: 3:51 PM Wednesday, October 06, 2010

    Having seen "Sensing Nature" at the Mori last week, I found the piece "Snow" that is featured in the picuture above transfixing. Especially just as the large fan that drives the feathered snow shuts down and everything becomes quiet. The only thing I felt lacking is that it is right at the front entry to the exhibiit where the distraction of the crowd is at it's worst. However, this must have been a curatorial compromise. Having this piece first definetly sets the tone for the rest to come. Over all a fantastic show and a sublimation at its best of how the Japanese view and relate to the natural world. Lee A. Hill, AIA

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About the Blogger

Blaine Brownell

thumbnail image Minnesota-based architect and author Blaine Brownell, AIA, is a self-defined materials researcher and sustainable building adviser. His "Product of the Week" emails and three volumes of Transmaterial (2006, 2008, 2010) provide designers with a steady flow of inspiration—a 21st-century Grammar of Ornament. Blaine has practiced architecture in Japan and the U.S. and has been published in more than 40 design, business, and science publications. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for 2006–07, he researched contemporary Japanese material innovations at the Tokyo University of Science. He currently teaches architecture and co-directs the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at the University of Minnesota. His book Matter in the Floating World was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.