To me, creating architecture is the act of studying reality and expanding its boundaries.
Even after majoring in architectural design at university, getting practical experience at an architectural firm, and beginning my own practice, rather than feeling as if I had finished learning, the need to study became even stronger as I considered and created my buildings. Learn and study are similar words. "Learn" suggests being taught and acquiring a certain skill, while "study" refers to the act of examining something. The word "study" also includes the nuance of active engagement. It suggests research, effort, and artistic studies. In the architecture world, it is used to mean the trial manufacturing of a design through models, but the act of objectively gazing, thinking, modifying, and cultivating an idea that you have devised is truly a process of active study. Cultivating an idea is also a means of developing yourself. In a semi-conscious state, you transcend yourself through the reality of a project, and attempt to discover a new you. Once you get to that point, you have the sense that a previously unimaginable, new reality has emerged. Studying reality and expanding its boundaries are two sides of the same coin.
For this exhibition, I have begun an architectural expansion of a kindergarten in the city of Ishinomaki, which suffered extensive damage in the Great East Japan Earthquake, which occurred in March 2011. After the extremely small building I have designed is erected in the gallery's courtyard, it will be moved to the school in Miyagi Prefecture after the exhibition has ended.
We now know that in the face of an unforeseen disaster such as an earthquake, it is difficult to deal with the situation through learning alone. Of course, this is also true of other situations. It seems to me that in addition to repeatedly questioning many different aspects and pursuing a wide range of real projects, study is an indispensable part of our era, defined as it is by a sense of complexity and uncertainty.
The act of studying improves the quality of creation. In this exhibition, I hope to present the consistently real and studied responses that I have used in my projects of the past and my current project in Ishinomaki.
ABOUT YURIY NORSHTEYN Yuri Norstein, who has been working for years under the veteran Russian animator Ivan Ivanov-Vano, has emerged as one of the world’s leading animators. His film, The Tale of Tales , was considered the most artistic production to come out of Eastern Europe in years. The success of this film, as well as others such as Hedgehog in the Mist , The Vixen and the Hare , and The Heron and the Crane , is due to his unique style of multidimensional figures and backgrounds that have depth, roundness, and shading, giving a visual quality to his scenes seldom seen in other films. His humor is full of human observation, contrasting emotion over a broad scale from gaiety and laughter to sadness and disappointment. The fact that these moods are happening to animals and birds with their own particular environment provides an element of magic, and once again proves that the art of animation can bridge the biological barrier between human and animal worlds.
Norstein recognizes that a film is composed of various elements. It contains myth, fantasy, cosmographic ideas, sound, absolute realism, and naturalism. The combined quality of these elements could be of great value, lifting animation above all other media, but so far he has not seen any film, short or long, able to make full use of such total potentialities. He holds that a feature-length film should not only tell a story but present the richness of human life, make full use of the specific properties of animation, and look for its own way of development.
Despite its simple beauty, “Tale” was not made with children in mind. In the sequence imagining the huge losses Russia experienced in World War II, couples dance to the famous tango “Weary Sun.” Every time the old record skips, one man disappears from the frame and then the women dance alone. Norstein says “Tale of Tales” is a film about the way memory is conjured up. He says the role of the artist is to allow people to “experience life yet unlived. This is the most significant thing we can get from art.”