The Model That Smokes
Architecture / Behind the Scenes /
Hiroshi Sambuichi, Inujima Art Project Seirensho, 2008, wood and acrylic model, incense; 1:50; Courtesy of Hiroshi Sambuichi
A particularly fascinating model on view in White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes is by Sambuichi Architects of a transformed copper refinery, or seirensho, on the Japanese island of Inujima. The Inujima Art Project Seirensho is a museum dedicated to preserving and reusing the remains of the refinery, as part of the broader Benesse Art Site.
Iwan Baan, Aerial view of Seirensho and the island of Inujima, 2008, digital chromogenic print; Courtesy of Iwan Baan
The refinery features a large chimney that originally served as an industrial smokestack but it has since been repurposed into a chimney that connects to the building’s underground passageways, creating a natural ventilation system. Sambuichi Architects has included two small chambers on the front of the model that are designed to hold lit incense coils, sending smoke throughout the model’s passageways, over a scale figure, and eventually escaping out of the clear acrylic chimney stack.
Lighting the incense coils, which burn for up to 8 hours. We’re using this kind.
Incense smoke blows past the scale figure towards the chimney, illustrating the airflow in the repurposed refinery.
Next to the model are images by Iwan Baan of a permanent installation housed in the Seirensho by artist Yukinori Yanagi. The installation, Solar Rock (2008), consists of windows and doors from a traditional Tokyo house once occupied by Yukio Mishima (1925–1970), the controversial Japanese author concerned with the dangers of modernization. The windows and doors hang and sway slowly over a large, open space. In Sambuichi’s model this space is represented by the acrylic barrel vault situated in the middle (see arrow below).
Iwan Baan, Interior of Seirensho with Yukinori Yanagi’s installation Solar Rock (2008), 2008, digital chromogenic print; Courtesy of Iwan Baan
White Cube, Green Maze is open through January 13, 2013. Come see this model and over 20 others from six international art sites.
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The exhibition presents works by:
Raimund Abraham (New York City); Tadao Ando (Osaka); Arquitetos Associados (Belo Horizonte); Tatiana Bilbao (Mexico City); Rodrigo Cerviño Lopez (São Paulo); Rudolf Finsterwalder (Stephanskirchen); Erwin Heerich (Düsseldorf); HHF architects (Basel); Oliver Kruse (Hombroich); Johnston Marklee (Los Angeles); Ryue Nishizawa (Tokyo); Rizoma Arquitetura (Belo Horizonte); Hiroshi Sambuichi (Hiroshima); Álvaro Siza Vieira (Porto); TOA (Taller de Operaciones Ambientales, Mexico City); Topotek 1 (Berlin); Weiss/Manfredi (New York City)