Trois morceaux en forme de mémoire

A makeshift restauro for the SPIRAL GARDEN

1991@Tokyo Spiral

Trois morceaux en forme de mémoire came into the world as a work winning the grand prize of the Japan Art Scholarship, an art competition held at the Spiral Building in Omotesando, Tokyo. This is a hands-on installation where the spectators walk inside, with the building’s concept and spatial structure of “spiral” incorporated into the work’s theme.

Looking down from the top of the open ceiling. A curtain is hung between the installation and the existing spiral slope to block out the view from the outside. The center part rains cypress wood chips at regular intervals. Photos by Masahiro Soga (all of this page)

Erik Satie was advised by his friend Debussy: “Satie, shouldn’t you pay more attention to form?” To this opinion that he should have a view of form, legend has it that Satie responded with the suite, Trois morceaux en forme de poire (Three Pieces in the Shape of a Pear). This is an anecdote that depicts Satie’s way of thinking about form, which overlaps with the orientation of this work that crosses over artistic forms and realms.
The Spiral Garden is located in a space continuing from the entrance, café, and gallery. Visitors can enjoy paintings and sculptures in this four-story ceiling space while drinking tea or shopping. This is based on the design concept of the spiral: “to discover new enjoyment through having completely different types of activities in the same space.” The designer aimed to make art part of everyday life.
The purpose of this work in such a space is to reverse the established context of “café over atrium.” To this end, this work was recaptured as a spiral restauro (Italian word meaning restoration) and was given a sub-title, “A makeshift restauro for the SPIRAL GARDEN.”
An atrium, which is generally in a position open to and viewable from the city, is inverted into a position to view the city. This manipulation will exhibit a certain vision of an elusive city. The city is yourself as well as your daily life. That is to say, you will face your ego.

Concept drawing

ON Time
The sound of the rain fills the atmosphere, and the monitor’s noise is reflected on the rain streaking down the glass. The three monitors on the floor of the porch display a message: “Care to step into the water?”
OFF Time
Rain stops, and people’s awareness expands into the sounds in the café and the scenery of the street. The only monitor turned on displays the message: “Care to talk a little bit more?”
Details in the stair landing
Looking at the crawling entrance from the cypress wood chip garden
Rain taps on corrugated roof sheets
Looking at the monitors from the café through the stairs. The reflection of the monitor display on the glass boards prevents visibility of the inside from the outside. Spectators exploring the inside go down these stairs to return to the city.

Installation drawing