Tea Room - Takashi Sugimoto
Artist Statement
Virtual Tour
Constructed with metal scrap from factories in Japan and England, Sugimoto’s Tea Room is an extremely heavy structure, yet the seemingly random arrangement of punctured wall pieces counterbalances the weighty impression. The shadows produced by the perforated walls also counteract the solidity of the material. With a host entrance on one side and the guest entrance in the form of nijiriguchi (kneeling entrance door) on the other side, Sugimoto’s design follows the general scheme of a traditional tearoom. Limiting the building material to metal is where Sugimoto takes an unconventional approach. The textual varieties that are usually conveyed through juxtapositions of wood, bamboo, plaster wall, and paper are expressed, instead, by layering patterns, whose original intents one can playfully imagine. Some weave-like pattern appears as through a drain cover; some other seems to be what remains after a form has already been punched out. As scrap metal, these materials have lost their original value. The Tea Room, however, blurs the distinction of value assigned to an object. Recycling the discarded materials for their formal appeal, Sugimoto reveals the arbitrariness of value and finds a fertile ground of creation in a world of ambiguity.

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