Isozaki Arata “Primordial Line”

Isozaki Arata “Primordial Line” 2017
Installation view at MISA SHIN GALLERY
Photo: Keizo Kioku

Isozaki Arata “Primordial Line” 2017
Installation view at MISA SHIN GALLERY
Photo: Keizo Kioku

Isozaki Arata 磯崎 新
Primordial Line 一本の線
Date: Thursday May 18 – Saturday July 8, 2017


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


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.

Isozaki Arata
Born in Oita, Japan in 1931. Graduated from Architectural Faculty of University of Tokyo in 1954. Established Arata Isozaki & Associates in 1963. As a leading international figure in architecture, Isozaki has designed numerous works such as the Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and Palau Sant Jordi, 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympic Games Stadium. Recent works include Qatar National Convention Center, Allianz Tower in Milan, Shanghai Symphony Hall, Hunan Provincial Museum, University of Central Asia, and Urban design of Zhengzhou City, Henan Province in China. He served as commissioner of Japanese Pavilion, Biennale di Venezia International Exhibition of Architecture. He is active in curating architecture and art exhibitions worldwide. He has juried many international architectural design competitions and also acted as a chairman at symposiums. Recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition ”Solaris” NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] (Tokyo 2013), “Metabolism: The City of the Future” Mori Art Museum (Tokyo 2015), “Japan Architects 1945-2010” 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2014), “The Emergence of Contemporary: Avant-Garde Art in Japan 1950-1970” Paço Imperial (Rio de Janeiro 2016).

── 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)





磯崎 新
1931年大分市生まれ。1954年東京大学工学部建築学科卒業。1963年磯崎新アトリエを設立。以後、国際的な建築家として、群馬県立近代美術館、ロサンゼルス現代美術館、バルセロナオリンピック競技場などを設計。近年では、カタール国立コンベンションセンター、ミラノアリアンツタワー、上海シンフォニーホール、湖南省博物館、中央アジア大学、中国河南省鄭州市の都市計画などを手がける。ヴェネチア・ビエンナーレ国際建築展日本館コミッショナーなど、世界各地での建築展、美術展のキュレーションや、コンペティションの審査委員、シンポジウムの議長なども務める。近年の個展に「都市ソラリス」NTTインターコミュニケーション・センター[ICC](東京2013)など。「メタボリズムの未来都市」森美術館(東京2011)、「ジャパン・アーキテクツ1945-2010」金沢21世紀美術館(2014)、「The Emergence of Contemporary: Avant-Garde Art in Japan 1950-1970」 Paço Imperial(リオデジャネイロ2016)など国内外の展覧会に多数参加。

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