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 Most buildings in the city are demolished as soon as they are outdated or no longer needed, and new buildings spring up in their place, at a very fast pace. The residents of this mega metropolis believe that any house over 30 years is obsolete.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