About the Exhibitor
京都に還る_home away from home
I decided one day that I was going to return to Kyoto. I cannot recall when I first had the thought, but I do distinctly remember the moment when I made my final decision. It was when I was commissioned to design the Murasakino Wakuden restaurant not long into 1994. With the Nakamura Sotoji Komuten as my collaborator and the Daitokuji Shinjuan and Kodaiji Wakuden as my clients, the project was sufficiently daunting for an architect in his mid-40s.
Until then I had thought that I was a modern architect. The job of a modern architect is to create contemporary architecture, and this was the kind of architecture that I had been working towards creating. However, the given site was right next to the temple complex of Daitokuji, and the given brief called for "Japanese" spaces. I had no clue as to how I could produce a work of contemporary architecture from such a brief. The decision I arrived at while I was bewildered and confused by this task unlike anything I had ever faced before was that I was going to return to Kyoto.
But where was this "Kyoto"?
My 1990s started from this question—that is, from a search for the "Kyoto" that I was to return to. Ironically, however, I only grew further apart from the city of Kyoto thereafter as my project sites shifted to Tokyo and countries overseas. Meanwhile, my thoughts for "Kyoto" only grew stronger.
Since making a start on my architectural activities in Kyoto in 1981, I have taught design and conducted research activities at three of Kyoto's universities: the Kyoto College of Art (now the Kyoto University of Art and Design), the Kyoto Institute of Technology, and Kyoto University.
What this means is that I have been continuously engaged in simultaneously practicing design as an architect and conducting research/educational activities at the universities since 1981. I have never even paused to think about this as it has been so natural for me to do, and both activities have been equally essential to me.
Only now in 2016 have I come to this realization.
Compared to other architects, I have been gifted with a very rare—and fortunate—opportunity to remain involved with education and research in various settings and in ways that have complemented my activities as an architect.
"京都に還る_home away from home"
This is not about physically returning to Kyoto.
I have now lived in the city of Kyoto for a total of over four decades. It was only in the 1990s, two decades into my time here, when I finally made a resolve to remain involved with "Kyoto". It took me another two decades from then to realize that this signified "returning to Kyoto". I am only just beginning to understand the meaning of "returning to Kyoto" today in 2016.
This exhibition represents the current state I have arrived at after both running away from and making use of "Kyoto" at various times. Rather than simply displaying my realized work, I have attempted to bring the full circumstances of my activities as an architect here to this show.
This exhibition, in other words, is at once a show about me and a product of my collaborations with the various people who I have worked with. Its realization would not have been possible without the instructors and students of the Kyoto University of Art and Design, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto University, and Osaka Institute of Technology (who readily offered their help even though I have never taught there) who helped put together the models and exhibits; my former students who I met at the universities and who have since set out on their own; and the support of my staff at K. Associates. I would like to close by expressing my gratitude to them.
Born 1950 in Yokohama, Japan. Graduated from the Kyoto University Department of Architecture in 1975. Completed the post-graduate course in architecture at Kyoto University in 1978. Established Waro Kishi + K. Associates/Architects in 1981. Taught at the Kyoto College of Art (now Kyoto University of Art and Design) from 1981 to 1993 and Kyoto Institute of Technology from 1993 to 2010. Has taught as a visiting professor at UC Berkeley and MIT. Has been teaching at Kyoto University since 2010.
Awarded the JIA Young Architect Award in 1993, Prize of AIJ for Design in 1996, Dedalo Minosse International Prize in 2006, and 16th Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards Gold Award in 2008.
Major works include the House in Nipponbashi (1992), Restaurant "Murasakino Wakuden" (1995), House in Fukaya (2001), Leica Ginza Showroom (2006), Tokyo International Air Terminal Commercial Zone (2010), and Kionji Temple (2012).
Has published numerous texts and monographs internationally, including PROJECTed Realities (TOTO Publishing) and Juso suru kenchiku (TOTO Publishing).
Born 1968 in Tokyo. Graduated from the Department of Design and Crafts of the Kyoto Institute of Technology (KIT) in 1991. Completed the doctoral program in Architecture and Design at the KIT Graduate School of Science and Technology in 1993. Teaching assistant at KIT from 1996 to 2007. Currently an assistant professor of Architecture and Design at the KIT Graduate School of Science and Technology.
Started activities as a photographer from around 1998. Received awards in the 8th and 9th Kyoto Contemporary Photographers' Exhibition in 2001 and 2002. Held a solo exhibition, titled Kata-log, at Gallery PRINZ (Kyoto) in 2005. Currently produces photography-based art documentaries focused mainly on contemporary art, crafts, and architecture.
Born 1983. Completed the doctoral program in architectural design at the Kyoto Institute of Technology Graduate School of Science and Technology in 2008. Completed the master's program in Textiles at Konstfack in 2010. Based in Stockholm, Sweden, since 2008. Has been using textiles to create works that deal with space, such as curtains for houses and offices and outdoor installations. Major works include "Curtain for House O" (Kyoto, 2009) and "Cubic Prism" (Austin, Texas, 2013).