Museum reception counters are usually piled with visitor brochures for seasonal exhibitions, but the hordes of paper currently lining the reception shelves of the National Art Center, Tokyo (NACT) aren’t for visitors to thumb through. These dense stacks of flyers are an installation of their own, commissioned to London-based architectural studio Pan Projects by the NACT.
Yuriko Yagi and Kazumasa Takada, the duo behind Pan Projects, are used to contemplating the relationship we have with the objects we build and the sense of security that material possessions can provide us with.
In the midst of Covid-19, when countless events were either cancelled or postponed, Pan Projects had the idea of constructing an artwork from unused flyers as a snapshot of the effects of the pandemic.
This installation, titled ‘The Matter of Facts’, towers over the reception desk and comprises press releases – we can only guess how many – from agencies and businesses across Tokyo which Pan Projects collaborated with for the mixed media piece.
To effectively realise their vision, the Pan Projects team worked with a small group to build the artwork. Structural engineers Yohei Tomioka and Takayuki Fujimoto were in charge of designing the shape of the installation while experts from Lighting Roots Factory were called in to illuminate the work. Additional support for construction was provided by Accamplish.
By preserving pamphlets that would normally be tossed away after use and turning them into art, the installation reflects part of the urban experience of the pandemic and crystallises the transient information sent out to people during that time.
While the pandemic has blanketed many of us with a general sense of anxiety or confusion, this 10sqm structure is an opportunity to step back and reexamine things from a broader perspective.
The installation can be viewed for free on the first floor of the National Art Center, Tokyo through December 20.
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