Fabric & Space

2015, Tokyo

fabric, acrylic paint,

There is a concept of space stating that architecture has a textile origin. As the german architect Gottfried Semper describes, in his publication Textile Kunst *(1860), that before the wall there was a curtain and that the frieze patterns and ornaments were woven in soft and organic materials. It seems like long before our times, the cities were ephemeral, made of fabric and able to have been unwrapped and folded into versatile pieces.
In the german language the word Stoff (fabric) means as well matter and a materialistic entity in contrast a immaterial entity like energy. The woven matter can also be seen as some grid that holds the world together. As well there is a direct link in germanic languages from the word Wand (wall) to Gewand (clothing). If textiles can be seen as a second skin to our bodies, can a structure like a house form a third skin?
With my work I want to explore fabric as a material to compose space. Since cities – and Tokyo especially – are changing fast and drastic, we could think of urban structures as temporary or makeshift, but without tearing them down – they could be soft and of convertible form, freed from the concepts of conventional architecture. In a giant tent the city is to become a temporary theatre. The use of noren in Japanese doors and hallways allows the house to be entered trough a curtain-like fabric that is conceptally comparable to a theatre.
The Japanese architect Toyo Ito** sees European architecture like a museum where things are placed in stock, Japanese architecture is like a theatre which is usually an empty shed and when something is held and people gather, it gets equipped with various things. Japanese architecture seems to have a very soft and flexible form like furoshiki. In comparison between European and Japanese architecture, the difference is like a Handbag and furoshiki. While a bag has a defined form and a certain volume containing something inside, furoshiki only makes a form when wrapping something, so it always changes its shape.

The installations, paintings and textile sculptures in the exhibition are in direct relation to these ideas and concepts and should be seen as models of a possible future and urban environment. The patterns shown on the pieces are in relation to the patterns and tile-designs Raul Walch captured in Tokyo and that can be found all over Japan. The paintings are an abstraction on the city’s aesthetic realities. The simplicity of the fabrics are giving the symmetrical, slick and perfect surfaces a crack, an irregularity – free, unbounded by common conventions, light and swaying in the wind.

  • Reference: *Gottfried Semper, Der Stil in den technischen und tektonischen Künsten oder Praktische Ästhetik. Frankfurt am Main & München 1860–1863, Band 1 / **Toyo Ito - Textile and Architecture