Tadao Ando: The Process of Creation, Emaki-Style Sketchbooks

November 07, 2005 - March 21, 2006

Yoshii Gallery is pleased to announce “Tadao Ando: The Process of Creation,” an exhibition of 10 personal architectural sketchbooks in the distinct emaki-style (handscrolls folded like an accordion album) by world renowned architect Tadao Ando. This will be the first time Mr. Ando has allowed a commercial gallery to show his private sketches. The exhibition will feature both realized and un-realized projects including the François Pinault Foundation for Contemporary Art, the Calder Museum, the Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, and the Church of the Light.

The sketches are embellished with color, text, and photographs, combining various elements to create a coherent narrative of a structure’s actualization. Inspired by the fluidity of traditional Japanese handscrolls, the sketch books are created by joining pages at the seams and then folding them, along those seams, like an accordion. When more surface area is necessary, pages are easily added to the end of the sketchbook, allowing Mr. Ando to expand his ideas infinitely. The end result is a comprehensive and chronological diary of a project which can be viewed continuously, yet is still contained in one volume. Mr. Ando’s longest sketchbook (for the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts) runs 103 1/8 inches, and consists of 20 sections measuring 7 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches each.

As a working journal, unburdened by technical, functional, and economic concerns, the sketchbooks embody Mr. Ando’s artistic intent more vividly than the actualized work. They reveal Mr. Ando’s personal struggle to find the intersection of his imagination and a feasibly constructed building. Also illustrated is Mr. Ando’s unique understanding of the relationship between architecture and nature in very early stages of a project. The fusion of strong lines and natural elements within initial concepts foreshadow the eventual interior and exterior harmony of his realized structures in which concrete, glass, and wood are balanced by light, water, greenery, and geographic texture.

Tadao Ando was born in Osaka, Japan in 1941, and founded the Tadao Ando Architect & Associates in 1969. Although self-taught, he has held professorships at the University of Tokyo, Harvard, Yale and Columbia. In 1995, Mr. Ando won the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize. His building can be found throughout the world and his drawings have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1991), the Centre Pompidou, Paris (1993), and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul (1998). Mr. Ando currently lives and works in Osaka.