Sat 3 Mar 2019
NATIONAL GALLERY SINGAPORE
City Hall Wing, Level B1, The Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium
JAPAN: THE NEW ART
By Michael Blackwood and Christian Blackwood
Japan | In Japanese with English dubbing | 1970 | 28 min | PG
This film documents the practices of Japanese avant-garde artists in the 1970s who are now major figures in art history. They include the Gutai group, Nobuo Sekine, Lee Ufan, Jiro Takamatsu, Shingo Honda, Susumu Koshimizu, Keiji Yabe and Katsuhiko Narita. The film elaborates on the theories of Mono-ha (“School of Things” in Japanese), an art movement that emerged in the late 1960s, and includes footage of what is commonly considered the first Mono-ha work, Phase–Mother Earth by Sekine.
Director Michael Blackwood uses narration and voice-overs sparingly, letting the footage speak for itself. This approach is especially poignant as most of the Mono-ha works were ephemeral—made of natural or recycled materials, and often dismantled soon after they were exhibited. The cinematic recording allows us to experience the works, their materials, spaces and processes in those moments in time.
TADAO ANDO: SAMURAI ARCHITECT
By Shigenori Mizuno
Japan | In Japanese and Italian with English subtitles | 2015 | 73 min | Rating TBA | Trailer
Tadao Ando is one of the most acclaimed architects of our time, and a recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the profession’s highest honour. His minimalist designs—informed by Zen principles and characterised by the use of reinforced concrete, wood and stone—have redefined the way we view space, and allow for natural elements like the sun, wind and rain to change the patterns of his structures.
The film follows Ando over the course of one year as he works on the Shanghai Poly Grand Theatre (2014), giving us a glimpse into his artistic process. It also traces the evolution of his practice as he shares his design principles and philosophy, and the process of working on iconic buildings such as Row House in Sumiyoshi (1976), the Church of the Light in Osaka (1989) and Punta della Dogana in Venice (2009). In contrast to his calm and elegant creations, the former professional boxer’s forceful personality and sharp wit have earned him the moniker “Samurai Architect.”
This double bill is part of a two-day film programme exploring the development and legacy of Minimalism. Day 1 delves into the practices of Post-Minimalist artist Eva Hesse. Day 2 explores the practices of Mono-ha artists Nobuo Sekine and Lee Ufan Lee, as well as contemporary artist Tadao Ando, whose architectural works reflect the influences of Minimalism today.
The programme includes a post-screening dialogue with Russell Storer, one of the curators of Minimalism: Space. Light. Object.