Thursday, November 11, 2010

Okura Hitomi (大倉ひとみ) Exhibition at Gallery 2 Plus (ギャラリーツープラス)

This exhibition (2010/11/01-14) by Okura Hitomi (大倉ひとみ) at Gallery 2+ (ギャラリーツープラス) consisted of pictures of old-style wooden apartments.  Upon arriving in Japan in 1984, I thought this type of building had a lot of nice attributes, but they were just considered old and ready for demolition by most of the locals I talked to.  Now that they have been nearly eradicated from the city, some people are becoming attracted to the same positive aspects of this type of structure I noticed before - thus this collection of nihonga paintings on washi focusing exclusively on them.

These wooden structures were designed to have natural air flow - an aspect of new sealed-air-system buildings that is nearly universally horrible - and natural light from windows - another horrible aspect of the center of large new buildings which rely 100% on evil florescent lighting, and so these old buildings are vastly more comfortable to be in than new structures.  The bad aspects of the old buildings were inadequate electrical wiring, no insulation (very cold in the winter!), and inadequate plumbing.  So while people moving into new structures have been initially happy to have more space, better plumbing, better wiring, better (sometimes) earthquake protection, and more modern acceptance, the lack of natural light and air is beginning to be valued more highly - although I think most people don't consciously realize the effects of bad air and evil lighting - they *feel* better while in old wooden structures and attribute it simply to nostalgia.  Bipeds need to pay more attention to their environment I think....

The artist's website is here:

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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