Isozaki Arata “Labyrinth in Motion”

ISOZAKI Arata Labyrinth in Motion 2014
Installation view at MISA SHIN GALLERY
Photo: Keizo Kioku

ISOZAKI Arata Labyrinth in Motion 2014
Installation view at MISA SHIN GALLERY
Photo: Keizo Kioku

Isozaki Arata 磯崎新
Labyrinth in Motion
Date:Friday, January 24 – Saturday, March 8, 2014


Download Press release (English)
Download Press release (日本語)


Isozaki Arata, globally recognized for his architectural work, is also a vocal critic and well known artist and cultural activist. From the early stages of his career, Isozaki has strived to develop architecture in the context of art, creating numerous groundbreaking and genre-shattering pieces. The approach Isozaki makes as an architect challenges the preconceived notion that architecture is stationary by nature. He has attempted to actively expand his role as architect by questioning how one might express the notion of movement in architecture or by taking into account the changing process of a city and its environment.

Japan, at the end of its Avant-garde movement in the late 1960s, was experiencing a paradigm shift in the areas of art, music, film and design. It facilitated a blurring of lines that defined the difference of one genre from the other. Many artists expressed themselves freely outside of their perceived “genre” during this inter-media era. In 1966, Isozaki designed the exhibition From Space to Environment, which consisted of numerous installations that forced upon the audience an interactive experience. These art pieces were created by artists from various genres, and were connected under the keyword “environment.”

Electric Labyrinth (1968), a cybernetic installation piece created for the Milano Triennale, consisted of 16 curved panels that would react to the audience’s movement by incorporating infrared sensors. This concept was later further developed into his work that was unveiled at Osaka Expo ’70 in 1970. In an era when Architecture and Art were undergoing a drastic paradigm shift, Electric Labyrinth was an opportunity for Isozaki to contemplate the possibilities of technology, designing mechanical contrivance in architectural space, and the formation of a city within an ever-changing environment.

A city is a vessel in which people convene, but is not a place to settle. Despite that notion, architecture in the city exists as a permanent object, and that has become the accepted architectural notion. A city is space that is formed by a series of events.

At Labyrinth in Motion, we will have on display, drawings and models that were presented at the following:

  • Fukuoka Mutual Bank Oita Branch (1966) – presented at the Colors and Space and From Space to Environment exhibitions.
  • A House (1969) A house in itself consists entirely of robot-like contraptions that respond in accordance to the resident’s movement.
  • Obscured Horizon (2007) Bedrooms erected in the desert of California
  • Ark Nova (2012) A ‘movable’ concert hall as a proposal to create a theatrical space within architecture.

Isozaki’s diverse array of work, ranging from his current work to those dating back to the 60s, all share in common the idea of architecture as anti-fixation, and are approached from a broadened concept of what architecture can be.

Isozaki Arata
Born in Oita, 1931. Graduated with a degree from the University of Tokyo School of Engineering Architecture Department. He created Arata Isozaki & Associates in 1963, and it exists to this day. Beginning with his work in the 1960’s such as the Oita Prefectural Library, when he was based mostly in Oita City, from the 1990’s onward he has expanded his activity around the world to include Barcelona, Holland, Krakov, Okayama, Kyoto, La Coruña, Yamaguchi, Berlin, and then in this century the Middle East, China and Central Asia. More than any other architect, his work reveals in its very construction a collision with politics, society and culture, and a deployment of personal thought and space that transcends ideological boundaries. Because he demonstrates the potential of those primal areas through his manner of construction, he has come to have a huge impact on other areas of knowledge as well. Through his critical writing, and as a judge at architecture competitions, he has also played an immense role in bringing to realization the concepts of radical architects around the world. His more than half a century of work includes philosophy, visual art, design, music, films, and plays, and he is always going beyond the framework of architecture to raise questions that transcend eras and borders.




  • 都市は人が集まる容器にはなるが定住する場所ではない。それにも拘わらず都市における建築は固定するものとして存在しており、それが建築の概念になっている。都市とはイベントによって生成される空間である
  • 本展では、「色彩と空間」「空間から環境へ」展に出品した「福岡相互銀行大分支店」 (1966年)、住み手の動きにロボットのように対応していく装置だけで構成されているレスポンシブ・ハウス「A邸」(1969年)、カルフォルニア州の砂漠に作られた「Obscured Horizon(砂漠の寝所)」(2007年)、また建築を演劇的なパフォーマンスの場に見立てる提案としての移動コンサートホール「アークノヴァ」(2012年)に関連したドローイングおよび模型などを展示します。



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