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This is Shigeru Ban’s First Australian Project

Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF) has announced Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban will design it’s next, and final, architectural installation.



BY Sammy Preston

November 8th, 2016


On show in Sydney from 25 March until 1 July 2017, Shigeru Ban will present two architectural installations for the final SCAF exhibition. Following Ban’s installation, the gallery will evolve into a more general contemporary space for ideas and culture.

The architecturally bound exhibition follows on from Green Ladder, Vo Trong Nghia’s bamboo design, which was installed earlier this year as a part of the SCAF’s ongoing ‘Fugitive Structures’ series. SCAF executive director Gene Sherman has continually sought out cultural “statesmen” and humanist thinkers across many sectors of creative practice.

“‘Shigeru Ban’s 2017 SCAF project echoes the Foundation’s inaugural 2008 Ai Weiwei Project at a number of significant levels. Born in Japan and China respectively in 1957 – these creative titans share a number of preoccupations which resonate strongly with me personally,” she says. “Via art & architecture they both actively engage with society at large, focussing on the dispossessed, the homeless and the disempowered. Their methodologies may differ; their goals clearly intersect.”

Ban is best known for temporary architecture, built within disaster zones using cheap, locally sourced materials – sometimes even debris. He was the 2014 winner of the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s Nobel, and has become best known for his humanitarian focus.

“Architects mostly work for privileged people, people who have money and power. Power and money are invisible, so people hire us to visualise their power and money by making monumental architecture,” Ban says. “I love to make monuments, too, but I thought perhaps we can use our experience and knowledge more for the general public, even for those who have lost their houses in natural disasters.”

Aside from their humanitarian work, Shigeru Ban Architects have created major cultural institutions including Centre Pompidou-Metz, the soon-to-be-opened Mount Fuji World Heritage Centre, and the Cité musicale de l’Île Seguin in Paris.

At SCAF in Sydney, the courtyard garden installation will feature two of the architects’s signature disaster relief shelters; one of his first from Kobe (1995) positioned in comparison to his latest disaster relief design for the Ecuador earthquake (2016).

The interior gallery presentation will highlight key ‘stepping stones’ from Shigeru Ban Architects’ 2000 Japan Pavilion in Hannover, Germany, to the celebrated 2013 Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand. An immersive-scaled version of the Cardboard Cathedral will feature as centrepiece, complemented by a four-metre scale model of Ban’s Japan Pavilion, and selected components of his work.

Images –
Centre Pompidou-Metz, France, 2010 photography by Didier Boy de la Tour
Cardboard Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2013, photography by Stephen Goodenough

 


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