photo: SAIKI Taku

Untitled: Project for 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

ArtistKUWAYAMA Tadaaki
Material/ Techniqueanodized aluminum
Size/ Durationdimensions variable (H23.5×φ31.5cm each, 16 pieces)
Copyright Notice© KUWAYAMA Tadaaki
Year of acquisition/ donation2011
DescriptionBorn in Aichi, Japan in 1932. Lives and works in New York, USA.

After studying traditional Nihonga (Japanese-style painting) at Tokyo University of the Arts, Kuwayama Tadaaki moved to the United States in 1958. There, employing the materials and techniques of Nihonga as a base, he sought to expel meaning and emotion from the painting and, as a subsequence, established his own expressive style. His paintings of the 1970s, using neutral colors and inorganic materials, took on materiality. In the 1990s, he evolved to spatial constructions using panels of artificial mood positioned in rows. He has since moved to project-type works that are conscious of architectural space, and he has realized large-scale installations in art museums in Japan and around the world. At a solo exhibition held at this museum, “Untitled:Tadaaki Kuwayama” (2011), he exhibited four installations entitled "Project for 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa".

In a white cube 9m high, 11m wide, and 22.5m deep, sixteen alternately orange and yellow objects are placed in a row on the floor. The white walls and concrete floor reflect/absorb the light and color emanated by the objects to produce a tranquil space taut with tension. Concerning this work, created for Gallery 11 during a solo exhibition at this museum in 2011, he has said: “I wanted to give play to the beauty of the walls.” As his words suggest, Kuwayama took an architectural space as his material and, by introducing artificial objects, produced his own spatial artwork. Along with the work’s 16 compositional object-elements, the museum has acquired five kinds of plans for installing the objects in other galleries at the museum. It is, thus, an artwork specific to the architecture of this museum with its independent, differently proportioned galleries.