Primordial Line

May 18 - July 8
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Primordial Line
Date: Thursday May 18 – Saturday July 8, 2017

The primordial line is the basis of all things and the root of a myriad phenomena; it encompasses the infinity of creation. Shi Tao, Huayu Lu (Comments on Painting)

A bunjin—a member of the literati or ‘man of arts and letters’—can be defined as a connoisseur of appraisal, collection and knowledge who takes delight in calligraphy, painting, koto, and go, but who is not a professional bureaucrat. The expertise of bunjin in poetry and prose, written to be exchanged amongst friends, was developed as a leisure pursuit unassociated with the requirements of the state. Skillfulness in the arts was not employed as a profession, but as an amateur pastime conducted by people who were devoted to the ink, brush, ink-stone, and paper. Shi Tao, who lived in the turbulent times of the Ming-Quing transition, was one of the bunijin, living independently and unassociated with a formal academy. He developed his own ideas on painting, which he set down in Huayu Lu (Comments on Painting). This includes a chapter on the single brushstroke or primordial line, which is a key to understanding Isozaki’s approach to drawing.

As an architect, Isozaki works on architecture and urban planning projects around the world, including Europe, America, the Middle East, Central Asia, China, and Japan. However, the thoughts that inspire his work come from outside architecture. His conceptual process has habitually transcended the framework of architecture to involve areas such as philosophy, art, design, music, movies, and theater, creating solutions that blend different periods and geographical regions. To Isozaki, drawing a line, regardless of whether it is for an architectural sketch or for a record of his travels, may be the moment when the first inkling of a new thought is produced.

Swapping his camera for a sketchbook as his traveling companion, Isozaki penciled the outline of the Santa Maria Novella in Florence, capturing his personal view of the church, and sketched the karst topography of Guilin from a boat, like a bunjin who, instead of settling in one place, traveled around in a calligraphy boat that became his studio and gallery. Delighted by the vividness of pastel pigments, he used them to draw his proposal for the Donau City Twin Tower in Vienna. And his use of watercolors for projects in China from 2000 onwards represents a homage to the bunjin realized through his own architecture.

‘Primordial Line’ explores the relationship between Arata Isozaki’s architecture and his drawings. We look forward to seeing you at the exhibition.

磯崎 新
会期:2017年5月18日(木)– 7月8日(土)

── すべては「一」から始まり、絵も書も「一」に集約される。つきつめるところ一本の線であり、そこにすべてが表される。(石濤「画語録」より)