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Bato-machi Hiroshige Museum

Kengo Kuma & Associates

A museum by Kengo Kuma, conceived as a sensor of light.

This video and project by Kengo Kuma & Associates highlight the architects' intent to plan the Bato-Machi Museum (Japan), dedicated to Ando Hiroshige, as an embodiment of the works of the "Ukiyo-e" artist. In essence reinforcing the connection between the evanescent and traditional spirit of his art and built form.

The unique spatial structure implemented by the Japanese artist within his woodblock prints inspired the superimposition of layers throughout the museum. A latticework of local Yamizo cedar louvers defines the diverse stratum that compose the roof and walls.

The video explores the architecture of the Hiroshige Museum focusing on the changing the light through the wooden-structured grids of the structure, that generate an alternation of solid translucent planes and transparent ones. The building is perceived as a "sensor of light" that recreates the same atmosphere of the "floating world" of "Ukiyo-e" art and its impermanent beauty.

After a close-up onto this patterned and still traditional exterior that merges into Nakagawa's natural surroundings, camera enters the roomy inner spaces of the museum from a spectators' perspective and launches the audience at once into the intimate and impermanent dimension of Hiroshige paintings.


Mentioned project: Nakagawa-machi Bato Hiroshige Museum of Art (2000)
Project location: Nakagawa-machi, Japan

Japan 2000
Duration: 6'03''

Selected for SCRIPT, the 2005 edition of the BEYOND MEDIA Festival organized by Image.