photo: KIOKU Keizo

Weightlessness and transparency

Material/ Techniqueacrylic
Size/ DurationH260×φ430cm
Copyright Notice© Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA
Year of acquisition/ donation2007
DescriptionSEJIMA Kazuyo: Born in Ibaraki, Japan in 1956.
NISHIZAWA Ryue: Born in Kanagawa, Japan in 1966.
They have worked as an architect unit since 1995.
Both live and work in Tokyo.

While working for their own independent offices – Sejima after 1992 and Nishizawa after 1997, they have co-designed many works under the name of SANAA since 1995. Simple abstract space design using glass and white walls while eliminating decorations and architectural forms as much as possible characterizes their works. They also have designed many museums including 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, New Museum in New York, and the branch of Louvre in Lens, France.

This work is cylinder-shaped and made of transparent acrylic. Changing the thickness of 4cm-thick acrylic by grinding and polishing the surface, they made the scenery seen through the acrylic look distorted. Going around the cylinder, you will see forms appearing on the opposite side changing into something weightless as if in a film. While the frequent use of transparent materials is one of the features of SANAA’s design, the usage has grown extensive: from the early stage when the material was used to minimize its presence to the later stage when glass is considered equivalent to opaque walls. Now the characteristics of materials such as reflection and distortion are made conspicuous. This work was made during the transition period between the two, and it reveals how SANAA’s idea on transparency has deepened.