December 2018
Facades and Spaces

Visit the exhibition of YAYOI KUSAMA “THE LONGING FOR MY LOVE ALL BEGAN FROM MY HEART” at West Bund Culture & Art Pilot Zone OTA FINE ARTS Gallery.

From the description provided by the architects, I had known that in order to express the urban characteristics of Shanghai, the texture of the brick was chosen on the surface of the building, but it did not explain why the tiles of three sizes were used for masonry.
Let’s guess, first of all, in order to highlight the pure volume, seamless materials seem to be more suitable, but compared to the same grade of seamless materials, the decay of the tiles is much slower, and the tiled bricks seen from a distance is just like a whole, the whole building is a pure One. After that, the architect deliberately used different sizes of tiles in different mass. This is logical. As the sight approaches, the original pure skin, the surface gradually becomes richer, and the frosty exterior wall seems to be somewhat flexible. . It is a pity that the scale of the brick texture is relatively small, and the subtle changes are hidden within the scale, which is not enough for most visitors to discover. I don’t know whether it is intentional or not. The seams are not completely docked during the construction process. For a minimalist building, the position of each line has its meaning. Once it is misplaced, there is always a lack of meticulous taste.
The door of the main entrance is very wonderful, narrow and towering. It can only enter a few people at a time. Through the sense of ritual, it creates an atmosphere that can be awe-inspiring. The original squabble or noise outside when you walked through this door suddenly disappeared. But it was a pity that there was not much surprise in the high-pitched hall. It was just a slightly higher square box. At the Festival Building designed by Tadao Ando has created the same narrow and tall space in the entrance lobby. In that space, not only the sun is infiltrated, but even the rain can be poured in.
Then, after a low-pressure corridor, enter the high-profile exhibition hall. Due to the small volume, the corridor cannot be stretched, and the roaming experience brought by the space comparison failed to emerge. Moreover, because of the exhibition, the skylight had been covered, the light was a little dim, and there was no particularly amazing feeling. It seemed that everything could be seen in the entrance hall.

Beside the OTA FINE ARTS Gallery, Chi She, with its exterior walls made of grey green bricks, is densely arched outwards, and draws a charming arc. But walking into the room, only to see a white square box, the interior space has forgotten the texture on the facade, leaving only the bare wooden ceiling with the roof undulating, bringing a little change to the space. Later, I learned that this exterior wall was built with the robotic masonry fabrication technique by Fab-UnionDesigned. This fascinating fa?ade, but it only makes the building more photogenic, but has not a special relationship with the inner space, which is a pity.

The most impressive thing about this exhibition is the infinite mirror house. In this exhibition, viewers experience an obliterative encounter as they peer into the small windows of the mirrored hexagon chamber “I WANT TO SEE A HEART WITH MY OWN EYES”. Small light bulbs flicker on and off as they change in color and are multiplied through reflection, moments of erasure are experienced as space and light expands in finitely in all directions.
The artist has embedded philosophical ideas in the creation of space. Is the architect more obsessed with this?

Some photos from internet

OTA FINE ARTS Gallery
Architects: B.L.U.E. Architecture Design Studio
Area: 243.0 m2

Chi She
Architects: Archi-Union 
Area: 200m2