Exhibition "City is Nature" at Sezon Museum of Modern Art

Now being used as a common word after been used as a slogan for environmental and human rights issues, the word “Symbiosis” was originally used in the field of Biology. This word “Symbiosis” became widely known has a lot to due from architect, Kisho Kurokawa, who has been putting forward the “The Philosophy of Symbiosis” since the 1970s. Being trained by Fumihiko Maki who was part of a project that originated in Japan called “Metabolism” with Kurokawa, Norihiko Dan who is active in both Japan and abroad will curate this exhibition.

Dan was inaugurated as the master architect who proposes the future and the natural environment of Karuizawa since 2020; with the architecture being pointed out as the “Symbiosis with nature” as its characteristic. For this exhibition, in addition to works and image data related to Dan’s “Symbiosis”, Eiji Okubo who has been collaborating with Dan in various projects as an artist will exhibit his newest installation. Moreover, in the section titled “Symbiotic Society”, Takao Tsutsumi(director of Sezon Museum of Modern Art) will be in-charge of the curation alongside with book artist Yasutomo Ota and Dan Isomura, who faces social issues with his own viewpoint being introduced. Through artworks, related materials, and various exhibitions, the “Symbiosis” of the Japanese nature-perspective and the cityscape interpreted by Norihiko Dan will be attempted.

Agura (cross-legged) Tea Ceremony
This is a new type of tea ceremony referred to as Agura (cross-legged) tea ceremony. It is said that Sen no Rikyū (a 16th century tea master, widely regarded as the most important individual in the history of tea ceremony) originally conducted the tea ceremony in an Agura form, and the agura and tatehiza (sitting with one knee drawn up) styles were the most common forms of sitting up until the Edo period (1603 to 1868), through the Heian (794 to 1185) and Kamakura periods (1185 to 1333), regardless of gender or social status. In the early Edo period, from the time of the third Shōgun of the Tokugawa family, Tokugawa Iemitsu, both men and women were compelled to sit in the seiza style (kneeling on both legs, with the top of the feet flat on the floor) in order to make the hierarchical relationships between people clearer, and a decree during the Kan’ei era (1624 to 1644) reduced the width of a woman’s kimono resulting in the tatehiza style of sitting becoming impossible. Consequently, the tea ceremony came to be held in the seiza style. Having tobacco together with the tea is also an essential part of the tea ceremony, and so there is also a tobacco tray, even if this has become nothing more than a formality in traditional tea ceremony. Seiza has become more and more unsuitable for international visitors, and modern people of all ages, and may soon go out of use altogether. An important conceptual aspect of this exhibition is to learn the history of the past so that we can also liberate us from any constraints of the present. Sitting agura and smoking are both rooted in the history of tea ceremony, which is provided in a back of the museum’s gardens during the exhibition period as a refreshment space that should allow visitors to invigorate the soul in peace.

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Cite: "Exhibition "City is Nature" at Sezon Museum of Modern Art" 14 Aug 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/945779/exhibition-city-is-nature-at-sezon-museum-of-modern-art> ISSN 0719-8884

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