Week 52 - 30 July 2022

graffiti in tokyo

Yesterday I ended a walk around Tokyo with the exhibition L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped at 2121 Design Sight - a documentation of when Christo wrapped the arch last year.

A day spent looking at buildings capped with watching one being concealed, sort of the worlds best and worst magic trick. Hearing the engineers, technicians, security experts talk about manifesting a recently departed artist's greatest work was incredibly moving. Logistics are poetic when the gesture they're working to perform is stretched taught between precisely crafted and completely meaningless.

I like how Christo and Jeanne-Claude insisted their work was meaningless. It allows everything else apart from the art to ring with meaning. One of their long-term collaborators said that when he's often asked 'why so big?' he replies that 'it's the Arc de Triomphe, we cannot make it any smaller - it is the size it is'.

photo of tower house, takamitsu azuma, tokyo

The architecture of Tokyo is non stop exhilaration. I've got whiplash. Architectonic whiplash. Two of the best things I saw yesterday - Doric by Kengo Kuma and Tower House by Takamitsu Azuma. Barely 5 minutes walk between them. Tower House feels like it's been chiselled from concrete - the bedrock of Tokyo. Another magic trick, 6 floors folded into a neat triangle. Doric pulls a trick of its own by concealing a lift shaft as an enormous doric column. Hat-trick.

photo of building: doric, kengo kuma, tokyo

I was turned onto M. Minnaert's The Nature of Light and Colour in the Open Air after my visit to James Turrell's sky space in Naoshima a few weeks ago. It's written on the premise that understanding how light and colour work in the real world enhance their beauty.

light on the pavement in tokyo

I handed in my university project last week - which ended up being about how hidden water flows in Kyoto city could be used to cool it sustainably, through various street furniture interventions. It's been the high point of my masters so far - felt like I learned a lot from our teacher and each other in our group. We've planned a group road trip for a few weeks time, too.

screenshot of Electric Dreams

The website for the The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology went live too! Here it is. I've not posted it to social media yet cos there's a few improvements I'd like to make (especially on mobile). But weeknotes feels like a secret little place I can put it.

Last update: 2022-07-30 10:13