Page D5.1 . 13 February 2008                     
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
< Prev Page Next Page >
  • Special Issue - Bridges
  • Postcard from London
  • London Millennium Bridge
  • A Block in Temple Bar
  • Talking with Taniguchi
  • Contemporary Art Museum of Castilla and León

      Current Contents
      Blog Center
      Download Center
      New Products
      Products Guide
      Classic Home
      Architecture Forum
      Architects Directory
      Topics Library
      Complete Archive
      Web Directory
      About ArchWeek
      Subscribe & Contribute
      Free Newsletters


    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Talking with Taniguchi

    by C. B. Liddell

    Some Westerners, when faced with Oriental creativity, have a tendency to get a little carried away. Instead of a balanced, rational approach, a tendency emerges to ascribe the aesthetic effect of what they see to some mysterious, spiritual force that is absent from their own culture, whether it be called Zen, Tao, wabi-sabi, or yin and yang.

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    This is, of course, the obverse side of the attitude that the Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said so scathingly exposed in his seminal work Orientalism (1978), which highlighted the ways that different cultures and societies distort and exoticize each other.

    Although misconceptions may actually add luster to his creations, Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi — most famous for his redesign of New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), completed in 2004 — is keen to downplay such mystical elements in his work.

    For example, the perfectly balanced inverse relationship of the circle and the square in one of his earliest designs, the Shiseido Art Museum (1978), built for Japan's leading cosmetic company, seems an obvious echo of the ideal harmony between the masculine yang and feminine yin principles in Eastern thought.

    "I didn't have anything like that in mind," Taniguchi says. "But the museum consists of two parts: one end for the art gallery and one end to exhibit cosmetics and advertising posters. For the art gallery, I wanted to have gentler light, whereas for the other, where they exhibit cosmetics, I wanted stronger light from outside."   >>>

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...


    ArchWeek Image

    At the Shiseido Art Museum, the square-plan art gallery wraps around a tall circular courtyard.
    Photo: © Toshiaru Kitajima Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    A counterpoint of circles and squares defines the major galleries and courtyards of the Shiseido Art Museum, designed by Yoshio Taniguchi.
    Photo: © Toshiaru Kitajima


    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

    < Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Media Kit       Privacy       Comments
    ARCHWEEK  |  GREAT BUILDINGS  |  ARCHIPLANET  |  DISCUSSION  |  BOOKS  |  FREE 3D  |  SEARCH © 2008 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved