Kengo Kuma Studies in Organic
2009 10.15-2009 12.19

"More with Less"
The Great Spanish Architect's Exhibition
will be held in June , 2009.

I want to escape from the abstract and aspire to the organic.

A thing that is organic is different from a thing that is simply natural or made of natural materials. A thing that is organic must possess the generative dynamism characteristic of living things. We are trying to arrive at things that are organic by making a thorough study of the amazing process by which certain units (genes) generate a living whole while contending with (or more correctly, being defeated by) the environment. In each project we discover a characteristic material and are drawn irresistibly into a journey-like sequence, a process by which that material, after a hard-fought, tortuous struggle, generates a certain whole. A certain whole does not necessarily mean a building. It may only be a piece of furniture or some small object, or surpass architecture in size and become a city. It may hug the ground or rise like a building. Like living things, things that are organic take various forms and survive in various ways in response to their respective environments.

We do not care what the whole is like, but things that are organic, taking as they do different forms, surprise us each time. In fact, they do more than surprise us. Organic things are so unique and endearing that they inspire in us feelings of affection and a desire to caress them.

Kengo Kuma

The next exhibition at Gallery MA will be dedicated to Kengo Kuma, a leading Japanese architect with an international practice.

In the 1990s, as postmodernism fell into decline and the bubble burst, Kuma was skeptical about the idea of architecture as an object and made the "erasing" of buildings his architectural objective. To achieve that objective, he adopted techniques such as the use of louvers and the creation of "apertures". In the 2000s he began working overseas. He continues to present many fascinating proposals. Those proposals cannot be explained by dual opposition (that is, a dualism such as showing versus erasing) but instead involve more complex relationships. Having won a succession of major competitions in Japan and abroad, he is one of the best-known architects in the world today.

Kuma seeks to elaborate his architectural ideas even as he tends to his busy practice. This exhibition, entitled "Studies in Organic", is a presentation of his current activities.

In the exhibition, many study models and samples will be displayed and scenes of him at work on multiple projects proceeding simultaneously and influencing one another will be documented. A mock-up of a temporary shelter of the future with an experimental structural system called "Water Branch" that was shown at MoMA will be assembled in the gallery courtyard. Large models (expected to be at 1:25 scale) of two on-going projects-- Besancon City Arts and Culture Center (Besancon, France; anticipated completion date: 2011) and Granada Performing Arts Center (Granada, Spain; anticipated completion date: 2013) --will also be on display. Through exhibits at various scales, visitors will have an opportunity to become acquainted with the present state of the architecture of Kengo Kuma.


Closed on Sun., Mon. and National Holidays except 1st, 2nd and 3rd Nov., 2009

Admission FREE

Leaf Chapel Kobuchizawa, 2004 photo by Katsuhisa Kida
Study for the Cavamarket Project,
Cava dei Tirreni, Italy, 2007-11,
at the Quarry in a suburb of Naples
Brillare Kobuchizawa, 2005 photo by Daici Ano
Granada Peforming Arts Center
Granada, Spain, 2009-13
Billboard Building Tokyo, 2005 photo by Daici Ano
Water Branch
SINDEN Tokyo, 2005 photo by Daici Ano
Shimonoseki City Kawatana-Onsen Visitor Center and Folk Museum
Yamaguchi, 2006-09
Pecha Kucha Night Bogota Bogota, Columbia courtesy of Pecha Kucha Night Bogota
Asakusa Tourist Information Center
Tokyo, 2009-11
Pecha Kucha Night Bogota Bogota, Columbia courtesy of Pecha Kucha Night Bogota
Besancon City Arts and Culture Center
Besancon, France, 2007-11

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