Photos, Thoughts

City Sign‐ing Off

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City Sign, colloquially known as Hajek Plaza (or as the artist himself referred, Adelaide Urban Iconography), is a significant art piece created by artist Otto Hajek in 1973–77, it was designed to be a form of artificial garden used as a public space in conjunction with the Festival Centre.

The final space departed from his original vision, replacing coloured tiles with painted concrete and garden beds and water features significantly reduced. As such, the space never won over the public and decades of neglect, plus a poor intervention in the early 2000s that separated it from the Festival Centre, meant it became even more isolated and forgotten (except for a brief appearance as the setting of the Festival venue Barrio).

I took these images over the two days before preliminary works began to disassemble the artwork in preparation for a complete redevelopment of the area. Despite it’s polarising nature, I feel it to be an important part of Adelaide’s identity and a symbol of both an optimism and embrace of the arts in the 70s as well as an an all too common example of a compromised vision.

Photos, Thoughts

City Playground

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With it’s large scale, (faded) bright colours, and prominent structures of varying scale; City Sign became a welcome playground to explore for Naoto while I was taking photos.

It brings to mind Britain’s post‐war brutalist playgrounds (and Assemble’s 2015 foam homage), which were interesting spaces for play and exploration without having typical ‘for kids’ visual cues.

Whilst many an adult may regard the space as barren and unattractive, a child through fresh eyes can perceive the space in an entirely different way.

Photos

Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo

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The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) is based in Kiyosumi and opened in 1995. Within its imposing triangular frame structure, it hosts both permanent collections as well as massive spaces for temporary exhibitions.

It is currently displaying a retrospective on Yoko Ono, following her life and artistic output from the 1930 through to the present day; and Tokyo, looking at the cultural image of the city and how it may be viewed approaching the 2020 Olympics.

Photos

Nakagin Capsule Tower

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One of the few remaining, and likely most famous, examples of the Japanese architectural movement known as Metabolism, the Nakagin Capsule Tower serves as a look at a future that was never pursued.

Built in 1972 and designed by Kisho Kurokawa, it comprises of 140 modular capsules that can be connected and combined into large spaces and units. Intended so that individual capsules could be upgraded, it eventuated that none were ever replaced and the building has slowly been falling into disrepair.

Despite it’s unique look and architectural significance, the building has been on borrowed time for the past decade — with the majority of remaining owners approving of demolition due to the current condition of the building.

Photos, Thoughts

Naoto is 1

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It’s hard to believe our little boy is 1 today.
Happy Birthday Naoto.

Photos

Blinc

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Forgoing a formalised festival bar this year, the Adelaide Festival instead brought Blinc — an outdoor multimedia art gallery set on and around the Torrens Lake and Elder Park.

Along with various laser projections and interactive sound toys, a highlight was Junction by HC Gilje, a set of pulsing lights set on the underside of the King William St bridge. But most interesting were the projections on the Festival Theatre and the rear of Parliament House by a variety of artists including Hartung and Trenz, Laszlo Zsolt Bordos, and Ryoichi Kurokawa.

Coming up on Page 2

  • Yoyogi National Gymnasium
  • Tokyo Skytree
  • Dark Heart
  • and more…