Thursday, May 21, 2009

5.19.09 James Turrell House

Warning: this is going to be a long blog post! 
We saw so many incredible things in the past 2 days. Starting with a hot spring hotel in Echigo-yuzawa where we took a ropeway trip up to the top of a mountain just for fun. At the top there happened to be a "summer time bobsled" as they called it, which of course we rode on. It was the most rickety piece of plastic which runs on a metal slide down the side of the mountain, with a brake which works most of the time. Of course, we got ice cream at the bottom of the ride :) Its nice to do something non-intellectual once in a while! The following pictures are taken at the top of the mountain.

Cal Poly architecture summer-bobsled team! 

After this we took a train to this random town (I'm still not sure of the name) where we saw an MDRDV building which was completely ridiculous. Surrounding it was a bunch of installations placed strategically in this forrest. Japan is such a strange place, sometimes its almost comical how bizarre the things we are seeing are. Anyway, the random sculptures and such are these installations surrounding this building. 

Finally, we arrived in Tokamachi to spend the night in James Turrell's House of Light. What a special experience! Sleeping (or trying to) in a James Turrell installation was un real. We watched the light change inside of the house for an hour at sunset (6:15 pm) and an hour at sunrise (3:15 am!!! yes.. thats correct). During these times the roof retracts to open up a very Turrell-esque square in the roof completely open to the sky. As the sky color changes, the interior of the house changes, as well as the way this thing is captured in photographs. It's hard to explain this experience, since James Turrell's work is about the subtlety of light affecting space. However, at times I found the light to be extremely dramatic. Waking up at 3:15 for the sunrise  light show was definitely worth it.. This square in the photographs is the opening in the ceiling, which when photographed looks much more like a Rothko painting. Below are pictures of the house, as well as the room with the open ceiling "light show"

The exterior of the house, the roof at the very top (shorter one) slides all the way to the left, this is what reveals the open sky.
The following are all pictures of the open ceiling, the sky changes colors so the entire room changes, it is actually an open space, Im not just photographing a piece of paper (although it seems that way)

1 comment:

  1. You're right, it is hard to understand what is going on with the diamond shape. And yes, it does look like a painting!

    Sounds like a fascinating concept though...