He designed “we +”, a work that expresses events and surprises hidden in everyday life and presents new perspectives and values to viewers both in Japan and overseas. The Christmas tree that changes from moment to moment is a fantastic beauty that makes you want to forget the time and keep looking at the changing situation. Taking advantage of the characteristics of “water” and incorporating the viewpoints of art and design, we interviewed Mr. Hokuto Ando and Mr. Toshiya Hayashi of “we +”, creative creators of illumination, about their thoughts for this production.
---- Please tell us about the origin of "we +".
Tadao Ando: I think it was 2006. At that time, I belonged to an art university in London and met Hayashi through a common friend when I was back home.
Hayashi:I'm already working at an advertising agency as a member of society, and a friend who became friends when I took a class in “Manufacturing” got acquainted with Ando, and said “I want to do something interesting”. A total of 3 people formed a unit and started the activities.
---- Is there a division of roles between the two during production?
Tadao Ando: There are four people, including us, in the studio. We share ideas, conduct experiments on the ideas that we think are the same, discuss them, and set guidelines. From there, I lead the design, and Hayashi leads the concept and copyright. However, there is no barrier there, and we continue discussions while thinking about each other's contents.
Hayashi:The feature of our production is “experiment”. You can't tell if an idea is really good without actually making it. Try to make it experimentally, the decision on the result will be made by two people, and it will be a little divided in the practical place.
---- How did you come up with this illumination?
Tadao Ando: From the past experiments and research, there has been an accumulation of materials of interest, and as we came up with ideas, the seed of “water-absorbing polymer” has emerged. The water-absorbing polymer has high transparency, and in water, it becomes invisible with the water. In addition, it has the property of reflecting beautifully when exposed to light. After repeated experiments and digging deeper into how to show, the overall picture gradually became visible, and at that timing, the concept was summarized and brushed up while moving back and forth between expressions.
Hayashi:The difficult thing is the relationship between water-absorbing polymer and water, ornaments and light. Depending on how the light wraps around, it looks good and bad. It looks like a large tree exists in the distance, but it is actually a fictitious tree. For the water-absorbing polymer, the appropriate distance of light, the arrangement of ornaments, etc. were precisely calculated.
---- The theme of "Christmas invited by the magic of water" is surprising.
Tadao Ando: Creating an unprecedented Christmas tree with an unprecedented approach was an interesting and challenging task. Since water is a substance that is touched on a daily basis, it is easy for viewers to enter. We also paid attention to the fact that the water-absorbing polymer is a material that blends into our daily lives as a fragrance and a cooling agent.
Hayashi:Looking at the Christmas illuminations at OMOTESANDO HILLS, I felt that a creative approach was required. We often use "time" as a technique in our work, but we wanted to create a constantly changing tree. I also thought that if I dare to bring water, which has a strong summer image, into the space called Christmas, I would be able to see a different landscape than usual.
---- Along with "water", "light" is also the key to illumination.
Tadao Ando: Since ancient times, Public holidays"light" in a special present for the festival, bonfires and torches, burning your fire, such as candles is a human primitive act. Furthermore, when water or water-absorbing polymer is exposed to light, it shines like a crystal and creates an organic change. They are of the Christmas Eve Public holidays was well matched with the Festival of, I think that it would be was able to produce a fantastic space.
Hayashi:This time, I collaborated with the lighting team that I often work with, and I continued to experiment with the idea of “What is good light?” I understood the relationship between water-absorbing polymer and light well from the beginning, and as a result of persistently engaging in detailed verifications such as "This color is good" and "This light is too cold", I think that a space with an uplifting feeling was realized. .
---- What do you want to see?
Tadao Ando: It is a change of the tree when water enters. When I brought a sample of the same size at the installation site and verified how it looks when I put water in it, I realized that it was possible to look at it from multiple perspectives, and I thought, “I want to convey this fun!”. So I'd like you to see it from various places, from the top, from the bottom.
Hayashi:The water in one of the tanks is moving at any time. First of all, if you look closer and see where water actually enters, the expression of the tree plays from a mosaic-like world, a world where the reflection of light and light is beautiful, to a world where the depth is clear I think that you will be able to feel the surprise that changes.
---- Isn't it produced with the coined word “eye”?
Tadao Ando: “Eyes” refers to the act of gazing at a bonfire, sparkling the surface of the water, or looking at the shape and expression that changes with time. There is a question about society, and there is a desire to include a new viewpoint in the work. With the evolution of technology, urban life is always free to rest both in mind and in mind with information. It is lost to focus on the phenomenon in front of you, either looking at something vaguely or looking closely at the details of things. For example, it's something humans have been doing for a long time to keep watching sunsets and raindrops. The emotional experience that is inscribed in our DNA is that the phenomenon is fascinated. I feel that it is necessary in the present age.
Hayashi:Today is too busy. I would like to make suggestions that will make the world a little slower. It is also true that many people will stop and watch when they make the “eye placement” in mind. Art and design are non-verbal communication. I think that it is a strong media that can reach people's hearts so that the work and viewers can communicate with each other regardless of language.
---- What kind of place is OMOTESANDO HILLS?
Hayashi:I always don't know what floor I am on (laughs). It ’s a different space in a good way. There is no feeling of pressure from the 3rd basement floor to the 3rd floor above the ground. It is interesting that the level of the entrance is different, and I think that the architect Tadao Ando is an amazing architecture that has calculated about 3 degrees of sloping terrain.
Tadao Ando: The seamless space is connected in a spiral, and there is the fun that induces twisting. The architecture itself is fascinating, and we are paying attention to the efforts of the facility itself, which is focused on art and design. In addition, it is an exciting place where you can see the buildings of the world's famous architects as much as you can call it an “architecture museum”.
---- What do you want to challenge in the future?
Tadao Ando: I would like to collaborate with researchers and researchers in fields such as science, cultural anthropology, archeology, and history. Isn't it possible to create something new by combining our creativity while listening to experts? I am interested in the approach of manufacturing in a completely different place from the city.
Hayashi:Each indigenous culture is unique and has a different context. In addition to the interest in the culture of developed countries in Europe and the United States, I am interested in projects in frontier and local places. I think our approach is the same for everyone, but in fact there may be places where this is not the case. I would like to open up a new world that I haven't seen yet while expanding the possibilities.
we + / Contemporary Design Studio
Established in 2013 by Toshiya Hayashi and Hokuto Ando. A contemporary design studio that creates new perspectives and values through original expression techniques based on research and experimentation. He belongs to design galleries such as Gallery S. Bensimon (Paris) and Rossana Orlandi (Milan). In addition to presenting works both in Japan and overseas, various members such as installation work, branding, product development, graphic design, etc., utilizing the strengths of each member with diverse backgrounds and the knowledge gained from daily research. Work on projects for various companies and organizations. He has won numerous awards both at home and abroad, including “ELLE DECOR Young Designer of the Year”, “KUKAN DESIGN AWARD” Gold Award, and “DSA Design Award” Gold Award.
Instagram: @ weplus.jp
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