Garden Tower in Toronto, 2013
Tadashi Kawamata – Hokkaido, Japan
Taking nothing for granted, Tadashi Kawamata engages us in a process that involves close consideration of the kinds of environments we make for ourselves, thereby raising questions of all-too-human need and desire. Kawamata’s gestures and materials, given the contexts within which they occur, are always smartly chosen.
Whether built up into fragile Babylonian constructions, tree huts, roof installations or stretched out to form a serpentine shape, his works offer another point of view – in every sense – over the place in which they are situated.
In its simultaneously unstable, universal and symbolic form, the stacked chairs, benches and garden furniture create an amphitheatre-shaped architecture that is intended to accommodate meetings and discussions. These inanimate objects contain memories, as if each person who sat on these chairs left a piece of himself blended into the worn-out fabric of canes, sometimes over generations, religions, and cultures.
The work evokes the beautiful and utopian aspects of the myth of the Babel Tower: a humanity speaking with one voice and engaged, with solidarity, in the building of a better future.
Born in Hokkaido, Japan, Kawamata lives and works in Tokyo and Paris.
His work has been exhibited all over the world, including the Daegu Art Museum, the Pompidou Center in Paris, the HKW in Berlin, the Serpentine Gallery in London, and the MACBA in Barcelona; his work has been featured at numerous biennials, such as Venice 1982, documenta VIII and IX 1987-1992, the Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art 1993, the Münster Skulptur Projekte 1997, and the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial 2012. Kawamata is represented by kamel mennour, Paris.
Location: Metropolitan United Church — 56 Queen Street East (At Church Street)