Tadashi Kawamata: Stairs

February 14, 2015

Japanese contemporary art has been increasingly present in the world of art. A little bit marginalized during the last decades of the 20th century, in the last couple of years the works by Japanese contemporary artists have being shown in the most recognized galleries and museums in the world. Just to mention On Kawara, Takashi Murakami or Yayoi Kusama, and many others. Tadashi Kawamata certainly belongs to this group of internationally acknowledged contemporary artists. His magnificent wood installations have been capturing the public worldwide for years. Exhibitions of Tadashi Kawamata were held at the most important shows of contemporary art, such as Venice Biennale and Documenta, as well as in large number of galleries across the globe. This time, Annely Juda Fine Art gallery organizes the exhibition of works by Kawamata.

100 x 153 x 10 cm
Tadashi Kawamata - Site Plan, Paris (2), 2007, balsa, cardboard and acrylic on plywood

The Art of Tadashi Kawamata

Tadashi Kawamata belongs to those groups of artist whose works cannot be easily classified using the strict divisions. His works go far beyond the art in the strict meaning of that term. Kawamata is inspired by sociology, history, urban planning, architecture, everyday communication, and medical treatment. Yet, he is not using these disciplines for incorporating into his art. On the contrary, he transcends the art context and extends it to these fields. Therefore, it’s impossible to understand his works without knowing the social, political and cultural context that they investigate. He founds motifs in the social and cultural developments that shape the human’s surroundings. Kawamata’s fascination with the environment influenced both the subject of his works, as well as the media he uses. Themes like natural disasters or large scale destruction are often the main themes of his works. On the other hand, he uses reclaimed materials, usually wood in order to build caricature models of buildings and other architectural objects. However, he is not focused on only one theme or one medium, since his works always depends on the social context they were inspired by, and he mixes different materials for sculpture installations with other media, such as text or video. Kawamata’s work, although exhibited in galleries or museums, connects different workplaces and creates a link between past and present, the interior and exterior. Tadashi Kawamata is without any doubt one of the major figures of Japanese contemporary art scene.

Tadashi Kawamata - Berlin Tree House (courtesy of Berthold Stadler and HKW Berlin, for illustrative purposes)
Tadashi Kawamata - Berlin Tree House (courtesy of Berthold Stadler and HKW Berlin, for illustrative purposes)


The Annely Juda Fine Art Gallery organizes the Tadashi Kawamata’s exhibition entitled Stairs. Kawamata is generally known for his in situ constructions in wood. For this purposes, the Annely Juda Fine Art Gallery is landing its premises for architectural and artistic project to the artist. The floors of the gallery will be connected by the spiral stairs that connect different storages where the Kawamata’s works will be exhibited.  For many visitors, the central to Tadashi Kawamata exhibition will be reliefs and constructions inspired by the devastating Japanese tsunami from 2011. At the Annely Juda Fine Art Gallery, the public will see the artist’s transformations of our environment, caused by the tsunami in this particular case, with demolition and construction of homes and environment as main artist’s interest.

100 x 153 x 20 cm
Tadashi Kawamata - Tree hut in Basel, Plan 2, 2007, balsa and acrylic paint on plywood

Tadashi Kawamata exhibition at the Annely Juda Fine Art Gallery

As one of the most important figures of Japanese contemporary art, the Tadashi Kawamata exhibition at the Annely Juda Fine Art Gallery is not only about the architectural intervention into the space of the gallery itself. It’s also about the social and cultural context that gives the meaning to the works that will be exhibited. The Tadashi Kawamata exhibition at the Annely Juda Fine Art Gallery in London entitled Stairs will be opened on February 19th, and it will be on view until March 21st.

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Tadashi Kawamata - Chairs For Abu Dhabi (for illustrative purposes)
Tadashi Kawamata - Chairs For Abu Dhabi (for illustrative purposes)

Featured Image: Tadashi Kawamata - Catwalk (1), 2004

Images are courtesy of the Annely Juda Fine Art gallery, except those used for illustrative purposes only!

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