Photo: Jackman Chiu
Tadashi Kawamata - Hokkaido, Japan
Garden Tower in Toronto, 2013
37 - Metropolitan United Church,
56 Queen Street East (At Church Street)
[ photographs ] [ video ]
Taking nothing for granted, Tadashi Kawamata engages us in a process that involves close consideration
of the kinds of environments we make for ourselves, thereby raising questions of all-too-human need and
desire. Kawamata’s gestures and materials, given the contexts within which they occur, are always
Whether built up into fragile Babylonian constructions, tree huts, roof installations or stretched
out to form a serpentine shape, his works offers another point of view – in every sense – over
the place in which they are situated.
In its simultaneously unstable, universal and symbolic form, the stacked chairs, benches and garden
furniture create an amphitheatre-shaped architecture that is intended to accommodate meetings and discussions.
These inanimate objects contain memories, as if each person who sat on these chairs left a piece of himself
blended into the worn-out fabric of canes, sometimes over generations, religions, and cultures.
The work evokes the beautiful and utopian aspects of the myth of the Babel Tower: a humanity speaking
with one voice and engaged, with solidarity, in the building of a better future.
Born in Hokkaido, Japan, Kawamata lives and works in Tokyo and Paris.
His work has been exhibited all over the world, including the Daegu Art Museum, the Pompidou Center
in Paris, the HKW in Berlin, the Serpentine Gallery in London, and the MACBA in Barcelona; his work has
been featured at numerous biennials, such as Venice 1982, documenta VIII and IX 1987-1992, the Lyon Biennale
of Contemporary Art 1993, the Münster Skulptur Projekte 1997, and the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial
Kawamata is represented by kamel mennour, Paris.
Thank you to Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris