Tokujin Yoshioka show, Seoul
Seoul is pulling out all the stops to show it merits its World Design Capital 2010 status, unveiling ambitious architectural projects and hosting a series of exhibitions by big names, ranging from Damien Hirst to the Campana Brothers. But it’s Tokujin Yoshioka’s Spectrum show at the Museum beyond museum that is dazzling us at present.
The Japanese designer has a unique approach to design, believing that it is something that you feel, rather than create. His work often has an otherworldly appeal - like his luminescent installation for Kartell during this year’s Salone del Mobile and his swirling, ’Tornado’ creation for Design Miami in 2007 - and his latest nine-metre-tall window of 500 crystal prisms at the museum is typically awe-inspiring.
The ’Rainbow Church’ project dates back to a visit to Henri Matisse’s Chepelle du Rosaire, while Yoshioka was in his early twenties. He was struck by the colourful light that filtered through Matisse’s vibrant stained glass window. ’Since then, I have been dreaming of designing an architecture where people can feel the light with all the senses,’ he explains.
Also on show are some of Yoshioka’s most remarkable designs from the last decade. There’s the ground-breaking ’Venus’ chair, grown from crystals in an aquarium, and the ’Honey-pop’ chair, made from sheets of glassine paper and resembling a honeycomb structure. But one of the most striking pieces in the exhibition has never been seen before by the public. The ’Waterfall’ is a counter table made from a massive glass block, used in giant observatory telescopes. Resembling a giant block of ice, it was created for a Private Gallery in Tokyo in 2006.
Viewing Yoshioka’s work in the flesh is rarely a passive experience. This new show will engage all the senses.