Ryuji Nakamura and Associates

Meaningless Space

This is the space design of the exhibition "Material, or " at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT. In this exhibition, we intentionally use the words “material” and “sozai” differently. (Sozai means material in Japanese.) If "Material" is the substance itself, “Sozai” is given the meaning of the person who intends to use it. And by focusing on materials before they are made into Sozai, it is the exhibition that makes us think about materials again. You can meet the way people and animals face materials, the meanings they give to materials, and the impulses they have for materials. In terms of the space design, I try to eliminate the feeling of exhibition as much as possible in order to have people face the objects and works in their original state as much as possible. For example, “Do not create display stands or cases,” “Do not display on walls unnecessarily,” “Do not create regular routes,” and “Do not display by room.” Rather than being shown objects and works, they create an experience as if the viewer were walking around and encountered objects and works by chance. I also stripped away the familiar meaning of the exhibition facility from the venue, 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT designed by Tadao Ando, and tried to return it to a meaningless place like a cave or ruins. Specifically, 1.2-meter-high walls were set up in a grid pattern, ignoring the original plane, throughout the entire space, including the lobby and corridors, as well as the exhibition rooms. I thought that the space cut out by the grid-like wall would be cut off from the usual usability, emerge as a pure form, and be reduced to the material before it was given meaning. Rather than exhibiting objects and works in the place that have become meaningless like natural caves, they are left lying around or misplaced. Such meaningless spaces and states create a flat way of facing objects and works.

Exhibition title: Material, or
Date: July 14th to November 5th, 2023 (closed on Tuesdays)
Venue: 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT Gallery 1&2
Organizer: 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, Issey Miyake Design Culture Foundation
Supported by: Agency for Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Minato Ward Board of Education
Special Sponsor: Mitsui Fudosan
Exhibition Director: Satoshi Yoshiizumi (TAKT PROJECT)
Planning cooperation: Toshiaki Ishikura, Jun Kamei
Graphic design: Haruka Misawa (Nippon Design Center)
Space design: Ryuji Nakamura, Makiko Wakaki (Ryuji Nakamura and Associates)
Text: Yasuhiro Yamada
Copywriting: Ken Isome (Nippon Design Center)
21_21 DESIGN SIGHT Directors: Taku Satoh, Naoto Fukasawa
Associate Director: Noriko Kawakami
Program Manager: Takako Nakahora
Program Officer: Moeto Yasuda
Construction: HIGURE17-15cas
Photography: Ryuji Nakamura



21_21 DESIGN SIGHTの企画展「Material, or 」の会場構成です。本展では「マテリアル」と「素材」という言葉をあえて使い分けています。「マテリアル」が物質そのものだとすると、「素材」はそれを使おうとする者の意味が付与されたものです。そして、マテリアルが素材化される以前に焦点を当てることで、マテリアルについて改めて考えるという展覧会です。人や動物のマテリアルに対する向き合い方、意味付け、衝動に出会うことができます。会場構成では、物や作品にできるだけ素の状態で向き合ってもらうために、展示っぽさというものを極力なくしていくということをやっています。例えば、「展示台やケースをつくらない」、「むやみに壁に展示しない」、「順路をつくらない」、「部屋単位で展示しない」などです。それらは、物や作品を観せられるのではなく、あたかも鑑賞者が散策しながらたまたま物や作品に出会うというような体験を生みます。そして、会場である安藤忠雄さんの設計した21_21DESIGN SIGHTからも馴染みのある展示施設としての意味を剥ぎ取り、洞窟や廃墟のような無意味な場所に戻すことを試みています。具体的には、展示室だけでなくロビーや廊下を含めた空間全体に、高さ1.2mの壁を元々のプランを半ば無視しながらグリッド状に立てています。グリッド状の壁に切り取られた空間は、普段の使い勝手から切り離され、純粋な形として浮かび上がり、意味付けされる前のマテリアルに還元されるのではないかと考えました。そのようにして自然の洞窟のように無意味になった場所に、物や作品が展示されるというよりは、転がるように、あるいは、置き忘れたようにしてあります。そんな無意味な空間や状態が、物や作品とのフラットな向き合い方を生みます。

展覧会タイトル:Material, or
会場:21_21 DESIGN SIGHT ギャラリー1&2
主催:21_21 DESIGN SIGHT、三宅一生デザイン文化財団
展覧会ディレクター:吉泉聡(TAKT PROJECT)
21_21 DESIGN SIGHT ディレクター:佐藤卓、深澤直人

Ryuji Nakamura and Associates