Junya Ishigami makes a splash at Barbican's Curve gallery
Friday 08 July 2011
Nothing in the world of Junya Ishigami quite conforms to type. Chairs wear hats, socks and little sweaters knitted in fine-ply cream mohair; tables are paper thin and three-meters long and ripple when touched; huge metal boulders float up to the sky. Even the architecture he makes can be so immaterial as scarcely to exist. The piece he has just installed in the Barbican's Curve gallery, for example – constructed from hand-rolled carbon columns that are 0.9mm thick, and secured by crossbracing threads of just 0.2mm – is almost impossible to see. It's about as tantalisingly stealthy as architecture can be.
Ishigami, 37, is a bit of a hipster with his scanty beard and shoulder-length hair, skinny black jeans and skinnier jacket. He spent a few years at the cultish SANAA, the Tokyo practice led by Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima who designed last year's Serpentine Pavilion (it resembled a highly polished metal cloud) and in 2004, he set up his own studio. The installation he took to Art Basel in 2006 – the aforementioned long table, topped with a carefully curated series of domestic objects, which appeared to hover above its metal surface – was a huge hit.
Ishigami likes an optical illusion. And he likes allusions, especially to weather – the Curve piece is based on the fineness of raindrops and cloud droplets, which at 1mm and 0.01mm respectively eclipse the etherealness of his carbon columns by, well, millimetres.
Junya Ishigami: Architecture as Air, Barbican Curve, London EC2 (www.barbican.org.uk) to 16 October
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 2 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
Art Garfunkel calls Paul Simon a 'monster' with a Napoleon complex
Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst
Dheepan, film review: Palme d'Or prize goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Game of Thrones, The Gift, Season 5, Episode 7: Why two of the show’s most iconic characters just met
Eurovision 2015: Estonia seemingly enters Louis Tomlinson from One Direction
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland