Posts Tagged ‘fire’

Fire/Fire – Vancouver art exhibition addressing, among other things, development by fire

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

These photos are from a long Japanese ukiyo-e scroll dating from the 1890s. The art work is on loan to Vancouver’s Centre A Gallery as part of a collaborative installation by Vancouver artists Marina Roy and Abbas Akhavan, titled Fire/Fire. It’s an interesting show; I viewed it last night at the opening. From the curator’s remarks:

Fire/Fire calls out like a warning of obvious danger, perhaps too late. The title derived from the Great Fire of Meireki, which destroyed more than half of the Japanese capital city of Edo [ancient Tokyo], leading to the redistribution of power and the establishment of the Edo period that gave birth to the tradition of Ukiyo-e prints in Japan. It also refers to the Great Vancouver Fire of 1886, which razed most of the newly incorporated city, and more recently the building fires that expelled artists from their studios, paving the way for new real estate and condo development.”

Kyosai Kawabata, “Album of One Hundred Ghosts.” Accordion fold woodblock print book.

More from the description:

“At Centre A, artist Marina Roy will exhibit a new video animation that depicts scenes of public and private life being overtaken by animistic creatures called yokai; these creatures allegorize the aftermath of human disaster and environmental collapse. The animation will be juxtaposed with an aquarium installation of salmon and catfish. In cultivating fish in the gallery the artist wishes to point to compartmentalized zones of bio-political control and gentrification beyond the gallery’s glass facade.

Using Centre A’s architecture, artist Abbas Akhavan will create a site specific artwork that address themes related to shifting economies in Vancouver’s real estate and urban development, natural disasters and local fires.

Fire/Fire will also include a selection of original Ukiyo-e prints and a book from the personal collections of John O’Brian and Paul de Guzman. The final component of the exhibition will be a collaborative artist book developed by Roy and Akhavan scheduled to be published in Fall 2012.”

Continue here.

Also read a short piece by Amy Fung.

In case of hypothetical fire

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

From Unnecessary Quotes.

Chen House in Taiwan by Marco Casagrande/Frank Chen

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Chen House by Casagrande/Chen

The Chen House in North Taiwan, design and constructed by Finnish architect Marco Casagrande and Taiwanese architect Frank Chen, was built for an older couple who wanted to retire to the country and grow bamboo and cherry trees – on a flood plain also beset by hurricanes and earthquakes. The house is a light structure constructed almost entirely of mahogany on simple concrete posts. Casagrande quotes Brecht: Last night I saw a terrible strorm in a dream. It ripped off the scaffoldings and crushed the iron joints. Though what was made of wood, bent, and stayed still. Some of Casagrande’s earlier work is as much art as architecture, and has dealt specifically with the destruction of buildings by time, by the elements, by social and economic change, or all of the above (see project at bottom). The Chen House, too, is built to withstand the elements but also with its inevitable destruction in mind – as a future ruin. The style of the house dates from a period when Taiwan was under Japanese rule and houses were built in a more traditional Japanese style. More recently most houses in Taiwan have been made of brick imported from China’s Fujian Province, but Casagrande and Chen wanted to return to the earlier method. Wood better withstands earthquakes; water from flooding passes beneath the low stilts; and by opening windows to promote cross-draft, a hurricane passes through the building more safely than if the building were to try to resist it. The house is situated in Sanjhih, Taipei County, in the Datun Mountains.

Chen House by Casagrande/Chen

Chen House by Casagrande/Chen

Chen House by Casagrande/Chen

Chen House by Casagrande/Chen

Chen House by Casagrande/Chen

Chen House by Casagrande/Chen

Chen House by Casagrande/Chen

Below, Casagrande’s “Land(e)scape” project in Finland (co-produced with Sami Rintala), more commonly known as the “walking barns,” dealt with the abandonment of traditional Finnish farm buildings after people drifted to the city and agricultural practices changed. Casagrande and Rintala constructed barn houses which, now functionless in their environment, somehow seem able to get up on stilt legs and walk somewhere else – the city, perhaps – but which are ultimately animated only by fire.

Walking Barns by Marco Casagrande

Walking Barns by Marco Casagrande

Walking Barns by Marco Casagrande

Click below for an article on the house by Catherine Slessor in Architectural Review, reprinted from Casagrande:

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