Sambuichi

Sambuichi

Sun, Water and Air

Travel through an enchanting sea of light and darkness orchestrated by the praised Japanese architect Hiroshi Sambuichi. He here shares his thoughts behind the wondrous water and light installation set in an old underground water reservoir.

“What interests me the most is to bring out the beauty of the place.” Sambuichi always considers “the moving materials” at a specific site, and in particular the sun, the water and the air. To truly know a place, one has to experience it during the four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter – as these moving materials change accordingly: “The way these materials move will be thoroughly investigated and will be united to represent what was originally there.” In continuation of this, it was important for Sambuichi to keep in mind the history “behind this subterranean space”, which dates back to the 1800s.

For the shrine-like installation, Sambuichi designed a top-light so the sun could enter, as well as a 120-meter long corridor that led to the room where sun and water meet: “I wanted to join the sun with the water in here. For 150 years the water here had not met the sun.” Moreover, the Japanese architect has added mirrors as a central part of the exhibition to bring the sun underground and uses a ‘camera obscura’ to reflect Frederiksberg Palace – which the site-specific installation pays tribute to – down into the cisterns. In this way, Sambuichi – according to himself – enhances the beauty of the place.

“It is important to understand that water can become lighter than air. If people understand that, they will understand the relation between human beings and the earth… And when thinking about that, they will see a rainbow and if not, they will see how the light and the heat from the sun will make the water change form to gas, solid state and liquid.” The CO2 level in the Cisterns is five to ten times as high as outside in nature, and Sambuichi wants to show the relation between carbon dioxide, people and plants. We are all a part of a cycle – “people are not at the top of the pyramid” – and balance is of utmost importance: “The relation between islands, water, sun and plants is something very important for me. And because we have the sun and water here the Cisterns have an expression which is a perfect fit for me.”

Hiroshi Sambuichi (b.1968) is a Japanese architect, who is considered one of the top experimentalists of sustainable architecture, creating a symbiosis between nature and architecture. Built upon both personal intuition and scientific investigations, his architecture attains a rare balance between poetics and science. In 2001 Sambuichi established Sambuichi Architects. He is currently an Honorary Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture. In 2017 he was awarded the Wallpaper* Design Award for Naoshima Hall.

Hiroshi Sambuichi was interviewed by Christian Lund in connection with his installation ‘The Water’ at the Cisterns in Copenhagen, Denmark in March 2017.

In ‘The Water’ (on show March 2017 – February 2018), natural daylight interacts with the water and consequently, the opening hours of the installation vary with the length of day, closing at sunset. When crossing the underground sea, the visitor will walk on an interpretation of the Japanese Itsukushima Shrine on the Japanese island of Miyajima. ‘The Water’ is Sambuichi’s first major exhibition outside Japan. For more see: http://www.cisternerne.dk/en/what-s-on/exhibition/current.html

Translator: Alex Hummel Lee, project leader & partner, Sambuichi Architects
Camera: Klaus Elmer and Jakob Solbakken
Edited by: Klaus Elmer
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2017
Supported by Dreyers Fond

  • Nástio Mosquito

    'Mama Africa' is a Construct

    In this short interview Angolan artist Nástio Mosquito discusses his provocative video work, in which he through three blazing speeches addresses the legacy of the western logic of ownership and debt, not least regarding a construct like ‘Africa’.

  • Nástio Mosquito

    What are You Willing to Die for?

    Angolan artist Nástio Mosquito has been dubbed “the future star of the art world.” He here talks about his invigorating multidisciplinary practice, which investigates universally human characteristics in a teasing, polemic and humorous way.

  • Bill Viola

    Cameras are Soul Keepers

    When video artist Bill Viola was 6 years old he fell into a lake, all the way to the bottom, to a place which seemed like paradise. "There's more than just the surface of life." Viola explains. "The real things are under the surface".

  • 11 Artists

    on Photography

    “We are so oversaturated with images, so it’s about one question: Can I hold you - can I get you to look at an image for longer than a second?” Watch Catherine Opie, Wim Wenders, Jeff Wall and 8 other artists on the power and potential of photography.

  • The Story of Marina Abramović & Ulay

    Legendary couple in performance art – Marina Abramović and Ulay – lived together for 12 years and made pioneering work as a duo. In this extraordinary double interview the artists look back on their relationship – from their first meeting in 1975 until now.

  • Marina Abramović

    Electricity Passing Through

    For more than 50 years trailblazing performance artist Marina Abramović has used her own body and energy as her main artistic material. In this powerful interview, the artist looks back on her radical practice: “It was like the first woman walking on the moon.”

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.

  • Nick Cave

    The World is my Skin

    Have you ever wished that you could put on a suit which would open up the imagination and take you to the world of your dreams? In this video artist Nick Cave presents his wearable sculptures, the 'Soundsuits', made from discarded everyday materials.

  • Gerhard Richter

    In Art We Find Beauty and Comfort

    “I don’t really believe art has power. But it does have value. Those who take an interest in it find solace in art. It gives them huge comfort.” Gerhard Richter, one of the greatest painters of our time, discusses beauty in the era of the internet.

  • Daniel Libeskind

    Tribute to New York

    “If you took the whole world and collapsed it into one little ball, you’d find it here, in this city.” Daniel Libeskind, world-renowned architect behind the new World Trade Center site, gives tribute to his city in this short and colourful video.

  • Marina Abramović & Ulay

    A Living Door of the Museum

    Standing naked in the main entrance of a museum, facing each other while the audience passes sideways through the small space. Legendary performance artists Marina Abramović and Ulay share the story behind their poetic work ‘Imponderabilia’.