Do Not Sit Down - PhMuseum

Do Not Sit Down

Inês d'Orey

2018

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is a gigantic creature that sheds its skin as it stretches and grows. Most buildings in the city are demolished as soon as they are outdated or no longer needed, and new buildings spring up in their place, at a very fast pace. The residents of this mega metropolis believe that any house over 30 years is obsolete.

Inês d'Orey's work in the last years has been dealing mainly with the reinterpretation of interior urban space, exploring the transformation of the identity of the historical heritage in the contemporary city.

This new series, Do Not Sit Down, focuses on the Japanese relationship with the country's architectural legacy, specifically on Tokyo's 1930’s to 70’s interior space of preserved buildings. If Western tradition aspires to permanence, Japanese architecture focuses on flexibility, altering or destroying most of its buildings. The unstable environment created by special circumstances throughout Japan’s history led to a culture that accepts cycles of destruction and renewal as a natural part of life.

Informed by writer Junichiro Tanizaki's world of shadows, patina and minimalism (In Praise of Shadows, 1933), Inês d'Orey investigates improbable realms in Tokyo. The photographs are overlaid with pages from the first edition of In Praise of Shadows that the artist found in Tokyo. Faintly unfolding across the images, they speak of the traditional interiors, which are slowly disappearing just like the fonts in the photographs. Museum pieces that cannot be touched. Where nobody can sit. Do not sit down, please.

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  • Inomata House #2
    The Inomata House was a family residence designed in 1967 by Iosoya Yosida & Associates. It is now a museum.

  • Hachioji House
    The Hachioji House was the residence of the leader of the Hachioji Guards. Built in the 17h century. It is a transplanted house brought from Oiwakecho to the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei Park. It was restored in 1993.

  • Tokyo Friends House
    The Tokyo Friends House was designed in the early 1920's by architect William Merrell Vories. The building was one of the few to survive the Great Kantō earthquake in 1923. It is a guesthouse from a Quaker organisation, still in use. It still preserves its original architecture.

  • Kosaka House #1
    The Kosaka House was a family residence built in 1938. It is now a museum.

  • House of Koide
    The House of Koide was a family residence designed in 1925 by Sutemi Horiguchi. It is a transplanted house brought from Nishikata to the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei Park.. It was restored in 1998.

  • Tsukiji Fish Market
    Tsukiji fish market was designed in 1935 by architects and engineers from the Architectural Section of Tokyo Municipal Government.
    It was one of the few examples of a preserved building still being used I was able to photograph. It closed in October 2018.

  • Inomata House #1
    The Inomata House was a family residence designed in 1967 by Iosoya Yosida & Associates. It is now a museum.

  • Takahashi House
    The Takahashi House was a family residence built in 1902. It is a transplanted house brought from Akasaka to the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei Park. It was restored in 1993.

  • Yoshino Farmhouse
    The Yoshino farmhouse was built in the 17th century. It is a transplanted house brought from Nozaki to the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei Park, Tokyo. It was restored in 1963.

  • Migishi Atelier
    The house and studio of the painter Migishi was designed in 1934 by architect Iwao Yamawaki. It is now a museum.

  • Tsukiji Fish Market #2
    Tsukiji fish market was designed in 1935 by architects and engineers from the Architectural Section of Tokyo Municipal Government.
    It was one of the few examples of a preserved building still being used I was able to photograph. It closed in October 2018.

  • Kosaka House #2
    The Kosaka House was a family residence built in 1938. It is now a museum.

  • Meguro Church
    The Saint Anselm's Meguro Catholic Church was designed in 1954 by architect Antonin Raymond. The building is still in use and it still preserves its original architecture.

  • Mitsui Residence
    The Mitsui Residence was a family residence built in 1952. It is a transplanted house brought from Nishi-Azabu to the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei Park. It was restored in 1996.

  • Okuno Building
    The Okuno Building was a luxury apartment building designed by architect Ryoichi Kawamoto. It was the first building in Tokyo to have an elevator. The apartments are used as studio spaces and galleries. The building still preserves its original architecture.

  • Public Bathhouse Kodakara-Yu
    The Public Bathhouse of Kodakara-Yu was built in 1929. It is a transplanted building brought from Sendo-Motomachi to the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei Park. It was restored in 1993.

  • Japan Lutheran College
    The Japan Lutheran College was designed by architect Togo Murano in 1969. The building is still in use and it still preserves its original architecture.

  • Japan Lutheran College Chapel
    The Japan Lutheran College Chapel was designed by architect Togo Murano in 1969. The building is still in use and it still preserves its original architecture.

  • St. Mary's Cathedral
    The Catholic St. Mary's Cathedral was designed in 1964 by architect Kenzo Tange. The building is still in use and it still preserves its original architecture.

  • Nakagin Capsule Tower
    The Nakagin Capsule Tower represents in this project the present/future of the state of the architectural heritage in Tokyo. It was built in 1972, designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa. The building is a rare remaining example of Japanese Metabolism, an architectural movement emblematic of Japan's postwar cultural resurgence. It is still in use, but deteriorating and in risk of being destroyed.


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