If you see the traditional Japanese art, such as the woodblock prints by Katsushika Hokusai from the 18th and 19th Centuries you will probably notice many things, but above them all which ever they are, there is one that could define the entire body of work: Harmony. Behaving as if he was a classical music composer, he directed each piece in a way that harmony could put together any kind of elements and factors, even chaos. On the Great Wave off Kanagawa, probably his most famous artwork, you will see it shows an absolutely dramatic situation where an enormous wave threatens three boats of the town of Kanagawa (the present day city of Yokohama); yet harmony prevails and makes a paradoxically peaceful image.
There is something unique about the Japanese elegance in every form of art and design. It’s like if they could actually channel humankind’s existential drama in such an evolving representation that the proper cultural and philosophical mysteries seem to be resolved.
If you come back to 200 years later at present time and observe the work of Architect Junya Ishigami, you are most likely to find a lot of similarities. The Japanese artists and designers have this exquisite manner of contemplating their surroundings in a way that allows them to enter any type of space or landscape without interfering with the original harmony, but amazingly enhancing it.
Proudly, Junya has been selected as the winner to design and build this year’s Serpentine Pavilion, a temporary structure erected each summer in Hyde Park, London, the Serpentine Gallery announced last week. The pavilions are a major tourist attraction and have also become one of the world’s most prestigious architectural commissions.
We should all practice such a talent and capacity to contemplate, in order to make this world a better place by honoring our own human encounter with nature itself.
Read more about the architect’s selected work here.
Congratulations Mr. Ishigami!