Kuma Words 6

Kuma Words 6

I’d like to wish you all a very happy new year!

On 11 March, we will open an exhibition titled “Lab for Material,” at the Tokyo Station Gallery. The gallery is located in the center of Tokyo Station, which was designed by a great pioneer in Japanese architecture, Kingo Tatsuno.

Kingo Tatsuno is indeed an important figure for me; he was born in 1854, exactly 100 years before my birth, and the character吾 (go), used in his first name, is the same character as the one in my name, a uniquely uncommon occurrence in Japanese names. Tatsuno also taught at the University of Tokyo where he was determined to weave together art, design, and technology. I feel great sympathy for his efforts and open-mindedness in this vein.

In order to pay homage to Kingo Tatsuno, and to the Tokyo Station – itself a great technical challenge, being a composite of steel and brick – I’ve set the theme of the exhibition as a “Laboratory.” What is essential in a lab is one’s attitude of perseverance and affection toward materials. Studying without feeling love for the subject is counterproductive. We must have the passion to continue researching and developing, not being satisfied with an individual result. Only through this process can we contribute something meaningful to future generations.

“Shipyard 1862” which follows this message is an example of KKAA’s continued effort in this vein. We were able to achieve something as a result of our past experiments and compositions to hold particles of brick, stone and tile in place, within a framework of metal fittings.