Since being established in 2005, Nendo has developed an unprecedented number of projects, objects and collaborations, each employing a spare Japanese functionality. An extensive retrospective at Taiwan Design Museum showcases the depth and breadth of founder Oki Sato's talents, as well as throwing traditional curatorial methods out the window.
Laid out in a series of interlinking corridors, the exhibits are arranged in staged tableaux, viewed through newly-constructed internal windows. Each visitor gets a front row seat, voyeuristically peeping into the beautifully organised 'gallery rooms'. Explains Nendo, 'The aim was to achieve an exhibition that invokes a sense of excitement similar to window shopping, and at the same time conjuring a sense of tranquility when viewing the scenery outside the window.'
Situated in Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, the Design Museum building plays a crucial role in the layout of the retrospective. The structure sits on the grounds of a former tobacco factory built during the Japanese colonial period. The long corridors, which wrap around a central inner courtyard, provide a clear, directional route through the exhibition, with 322 works shown in the 1,420 sq m space. The window displays are organised by region ('Italy', 'Eastern Europe', 'North America' and 'Asia') so when visitors have walked a complete rotation of the four-sided square, they have travelled the world – one iconic Nendo creation at a time.
Highlights include 'Window 11', housing a cluster of Nendo's four-legged stools, and 'Window 10', which displays the 'Thin Black Vase' collection, featuring a single white peony.