Commissioned by Parisian art gallery Philippe Gravier, the Many Small Cubes installation features stacked boxes – some filled with plants and small trees – that are connected either just on one corner or one edge.
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Together they create a structure with seemingly random cantilevers and openings on a tree-lined avenue in the Tuileries park.
A void in the centre represents the “living area”, with formal entrances at either side and lots of other access points if “one doesn’t mind lowering their head,” said a statement from Fujimoto.
The structure is intended to represent a “nomadic” house and serve partly as an architectural intervention and partly as a sculpture.
“The floating masses of Many Small Cubes create a new experience of space, a rhythm of flickering shadows and lights, as being under the trees,” said Fujimoto.
“The architecture forms one unified element whose balance and stability are carefully designed: the position of each cube and each tree participates to the overall stability, yet reaching a random-like feeling, bringing the whole architecture closer to nature.”
Supported on a steel frame, the cubes are made from sheets of anodised aluminium that have been individually hand cut to fit into place.
A small tower built from scaffolding nearby contains a projector from which images are shone onto the surfaces of the cubes on one side of the structure.
Designed by lighting artist Patrick Rimoux, these range from abstract colour patterns to numbers in a digital-style typeface and moving clouds.
The installation is part of a series of pieces the gallery is commissioning from artists and architects, which it described as architectural “jewels” or “follies”.
“These Maisons d’edition are nomadic structures, removable and durable, that can be inscribed in both the artistic and environmental landscape,” said Philippe Gravier.
The installation is Fujimoto’s first work in Paris, where he will also be giving a lecture tomorrow as part of the FIAC art fair events programme. It follows on from the architect’s popular design for the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London last year.
“He may place himself in the legacy of Japanese culture, yet he brings a new vision to architecture, especially by developing a unique formal vocabulary: 1 nothing + 1 nothing = something” said Philippe Gravier.
Many Small Cubes is one of a number of satellite installations and events taking place for the FIAC art fair. It officially opens later this week and will remain on display until the end of November.