Construction - Tadashi Kawamata


February 4 to April 12, 2020

Tuesday to Saturday

10a m - 8 pm

Sundays and public holidays

10 am - 6 pm




Japan House São Paulo presents, from February 4 to April 12, the work ‘Construction,’ by Tadashi Kawamata, a prominent Japanese artist on the contemporary international scene. He is recognized for creating large installations using unconventional materials, such as chopsticks (a pair of small sticks the Japanese use as cutlery), an important element of everyday Japanese culture, used in the work created exclusively for the second floor of the cultural center.

In his work, Kawamata raises questions about human needs and desires through a careful study that offers the spectator a new point of view of where the work is located. Famous for the reuse of the most varied types of materials, such as wood fragments, planks, barrels and chairs, in ‘Construção’ - a work conceived after the artist’s visit to Japan House São Paulo in 2019 - he uses more than 180,000 chopsticks (90,000 pairs) and shows an organism that reacts to the space where it is inserted, in a movement that takes a large scale in the cultural center. To highlight the versatility of Kawamata’s work, the exhibition also features a series of photos and videos of the main interventions he carried out over his career, composing a historical panorama of the artist.

“Kawamata occupies Japan House São Paulo with this simultaneously dense and light mass of chopsticks, changing the nature of this simple and ordinary object, which we use mechanically, without paying much attention to it. He involves his visitors in this new environment he creates, praising the material and its essence by taking it out of its context. And he baffles the audience with this artistic and architectural intervention by modifying the landscape they are used to,” remarks Japan House São Paulo Cultural Director Natasha Barzaghi Geenen. The chopsticks used in this work are waste materials, that is, they would have been discarded because they do not meet the standard requirements for their traditional purpose.

Through a proposal made by Japan House São Paulo, the assembly of the work ‘Construção’ relied on the collaboration of dozens of students who took part in the institution’s Volunteer Program, under which young university students of the arts, architecture, and design, among other areas, had the opportunity to help put the installation together under the supervision of the artist’s team. More than 350 volunteers from several universities in São Paulo enrolled to participate. “The student community’s involvement in this project was essential and reinforced the importance given to the different types of cultural exchange that we promote at Japan House São Paulo,” says Natasha. This collaborative process follows the logic that has permeated the artist’s work throughout his career.

Born in Hokkaido in 1953, when aged but 28 years Tadashi Kawamata was invited to represent Japan at the 1982 Venice Biennale. Since then, he has produced artistic interventions in Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, and New York, including two editions of Documenta, in Kassel, Germany, in 1987 and 1992. This exhibition marks the artist’s return to São Paulo more than 30 years after his first and only exhibition in the city, in 1987, when he participated in the 19th International Biennial of São Paulo with “Nove de Julho Caçapava,” an open-air intervention on the Nove de Julho Avenue, on the corner of Caçapava Street.

‘Construction,’ Tadashi Kawamata
Japan House São Paulo

February 4 to April 12, 2020
Second floor
Free admission

Japan House São Paulo – Avenida Paulista, 52
Opening hours:

Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 8pm
Sundays and public holidays, from 10 am to 6 pm
Free admission
Check out the schedule at www.facebook.com/JapanHouseSP/

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