By Lise Laurberg
This autumn, the MAK in Vienna shows us why architecturally interested heads should turn toward East Asia in the coming years. In the exhibition EASTERN PROMISES Contemporary Architecture and Spatial Practices in East Asia, 72 projects from China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan outline a human friendly architecture for the future.
Few years ago, buildings finding their way to the international architectural press were typically iconic high-rises or cultural landmarks designed by western star architects. But over the past decade, and especially after the event of a global economic crisis, focus seemed to shift on the international scene of architecture: Smaller projects slowly began to sneak into leading magazines, and often the architects were Japanese, designing modest, but very innovative, homes on limited space in urban Tokyo.
In 2010, Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima was chosen as the first Asian curator of the Venice Biennale. And Asian architects were awarded the Pritzker Architecture Price in 2010, 2012 and 2013. Now, the MAK and guest curators Christian Teckert and Andreas Fogarasi present an impressive compilation, showing why Asian architects have come to play such a dominant role in recent years:
|While Asia is globally perceived most of all as the scene of some of the most spectacular contemporary mega-buildings by international star architects, the curators focused on local protagonists, whose strategies and tactics might contribute to a social and ecological development and play a crucial role in handling depleting resources.|
This very sympathetic view, combined with the astonishing beauty with which the goals are pursued, is bound to inspire architects across the globe.
The exhibition shows projects by among many others SANAA / Kazuyo Sejima + Ryūe Nishizawa, Amateur Architecture Studio/Wang Shu, Lu Wenyu, Atelier Bow-Wow and Sou Fujimoto Architects. The exhibition also features the work of young, emerging architects which will be shown for the first time to a general public.
We at Arcspace are struggling to find ways to get to Vienna (or even better, East Asia) as fast as we can!