Junya Ishigami’s architecture models go on show at DeSingel, Antwerp

Junya Ishigami’s architecture models go on show at DeSingel, Antwerp

Japanese architect Junya Ishigami has built a miniature landscape at DeSingel International Arts Campus in Antwerp. The former SANAA employee - who set up his fast-emerging practice in 2004 - has sited over fifty of his architecture models on a series of long tables inside the Campus, giving visitors a intimate overview of his varied oeuvre.

The exhibition - purplexingly titled ’How Small? How Vast? How Architecture Grows’ - offers up everything from small-scale proposals to realised work and even utopian landscapes. Originally conceived for the Shiseido Gallery in Japan, the show has been adapted for the modernist halls of DeSingel (designed by Belgian architect Léon Stynen), with this marking the first time Ishigami’s dainty models have been shown in Europe.

The minimalist display is representative of the architect’s exploration of the subtlety of the natural elements (he’s often referencing water, air, clouds and wind in his work) and is a fitting addition to his growing portfolio of delicate and thoughtful presentations. ’Ishigami has a boundless urge to create a new kind of architecture,’ says the exhibition’s curator Katrien Vandermarliere. ’It’s an architecture which absorbs all that is familiar and turns it on its head.’

Ishigami drew the architecture world’s attention with his concept for the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale Japanese Pavilion; he notably won the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale’s Golden Lion for best project; and he has a growing number of installations in key institutes, such as the Barbican in London, already under his belt. Other Ishigama hits include the KAIT studio for the Kanagawa Institute of Technology and the Yoji Yamamoto store in New York. Together these make him one of Japan’s fastest rising architectural talents.

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