“Invisible Cities” is an exhibition of the works of Lee Bul, Jagannath Panda, and Kurokawa Kisho. These three artists work with fantasy and architecture that describe an imagined post-human future. The notion of post-human is suggestive that through human absence, there is still a large presence from the past.
The invisible, imagined spaces have become real in spaces such as the internet and augmented reality, among others. Through this juxtaposition with the real, and with defiance of logic, or concrete manifestations, the imagined world in the cerebral sphere persists. In the invisible imagined space there is control, order, and room for spectacular manifestations-- a true utopian vision.
Kurokawa Kisho, “Yamagata Hawaii Dreamland” Floor Plan Detail of Bathing Area 1:100 (1966). Pencil on tracing paper. Courtesy of: Mori Art Museum
This exhibition is curated by Tsubaki Reiko, who holds a Curator position at the Mori Art Museum. The Mori Art Museum press release explains that the title “Invisible Cities” is referential to an Italian novelist, which describes a set of characters that take adventures to new cities. Imaginative and fictional, these set of ideas were an entry point for the artists to create a series of spacescapes of an alternative location. The works on view present these non-existent, invisible cities to the viewer and position them to have their own imagination develop another city and space.
It goes on to explain the notion of utopian developments for cities and architecture. For example, cities can not come to be without a series of plans, which come from ideas and possibly even dreams. Through imagination, the intangible idea is able to take on a tangible, concrete form such as a building or street. Even with the duality between the imagined and the real, there persists the necessity to acknowledge destruction of the image. This can manifest through time passing, deterioration of the building foundations and structures, as well as weather related or other natural disasters that have the power to annihilate anything in its path. Through this confrontation of the reality of time and the way in which things wear away, the notion of something utopian, and lasting is only able to persist in specific spaces, such as dreams, or temporary manifestations of these images in reality.
As seen in Jagannath Panda’s, “The Epic III” (2010), a fractured and reaccumulated building is suspended in space. The building itself is blue, while the sky is a muted, calm grey with blue accents. The hard lines of the architectural structure are juxtaposed with organic forms of bird wings, trees, and vines, among others. At various points in the composition, the natural world is positioned against the manmade which naturally positions a dialogue in regards to coexistence. A minor oil spill and small accumulations of clouds exist in both the foreground and the background. The composition has a demarcative line in the middle of the canvas, which seems to imply the duality between the two worlds of natural and synthetic. There is a clear dominance of the synthetic in the image, while the natural componets are presetned as minute details. The composition is realized from acrylic paint, fabric and glue on canvas.
Further, in Kurokawa Kisho, “Yamagata Hawaii Dreamland” Floor Plan Detail of Bathing Area 1:100 (1966) the plans detailing a building can be seen. This sketch is evidence of the process of making the concept of a space into a tangible format, before attempting to build it out. A drawing such as this is conceptually integral to the notion of an invisible city; one that exists as an idea. The precise details of the drawing are composed from pencil on tracing paper, which detail the floor plan for this future space.
The exhibition opened in late April and will remain on view until September 17, 2018. For more information on this exhibition including: special events, accessibility, and hour of operation, please visit the Mori Art Museum website:
Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
Back to Top
Sign up for the latest updates
in contemporary art & design!