This is the first major solo exhibition to be held in Tokyo featuring the work of Kyoji Takubo (1949 - ), who is famous for ‘The Chapel of the Apple Trees’ restoration project in Normandy, France, and is currently involved in the regeneration project of the Mt. Kotohira-yama, Shikoku.
Entering from Tama Art University in 1968, Takubo’s activities in the early seventies initially pivoted around performance art, then up until the mid-eighties he focused on the creation of objets d’art, in which he applied gold leaf to scrap wood, etc., that he then used to construct forms in the shape of window frames or doorways, these being shown at numerous galleries and exhibitions (including the 1984 Venice Biennale).
|Ryoji Suzuki, Kyoji Takubo, Shigeo Anzaï, Absolute Scene 1987.|
|Kyoji Takubo, Orange 1998, |
pigment, lead, wood,
collection of Odawara City
During the eighties the center of Tokyo was undergoing major redevelopment and in 1987 he, together with an architect named Ryoji Suzuki and a photographer named Shigeo Anzaï, produced the ‘Absolute Scene’ project. This consisted of taking ordinary, two-story wooden houses in the center of town, removing the walls and floors to leave only a framework, then fitting glass floors and inviting people to walk over them, recording the whole process. After this he turned his back on Tokyo and its bubble economy, moving to Normandy in 1989, where he devoted himself to the restoration and decoration of a derelict, 16th century chapel in a tiny village named St. Vigor de Mieux. This project, in which he highlighted the original structure of the building while decorating the walls with a mural depicting the apple trees that form a major feature of the local landscape. This project took more than ten years to complete and was achieved through the cooperation of the local people, and the patronage of both corporations and individuals, representing a new direction for art, combining the work itself, the recipients, the investors and the issue of ownership. Since his return to Japan in 1999 he has involved himself in a restoration project covering the entire area surrounding the Kotohira-gu Shrine in Shikoku, a venture that has received attention for the way in which it combines traditional cultural heritage with the long-term activities of a contemporary artist. (...)