A joint exhibit titled “The Wardrobe and The Mattress” of Chilean architect Smiljan Radic and sculptress Marcela Correa is being held at Maison Hermès in Ginza, Tokyo. Until Nov 30.

The exhibit is divided into two installations, photos and drawings. One of the installations is a closet made by structuring 1mm thick Japanese cedar boards. The enormous closet is decorated with a contorted full-length mirror. Lighting from the exterior shines into the closet through the thin cedar wall to expose the bright red interior. Inside, a chair is set-up for visitors to sit down and look through using an iPad, past works of Radic as well as a short interview of him talking about his philosophy on architecture. In the space, a glass container hangs from the ceiling and a black sink is installed. On top of the closet, a white rope is used to hang a red mattress, which is imaged after a lump of meat. The second installation consists of several red mattresses hanging from the ceiling to create a strong statement.

On one of the walls of the exhibit space, the photo series “Fragile Construction” is on display. This series depicts the vulnerable architecture in cities by capturing fragments of “informal” construction such as cabins and gravestones. Such construction often perceived to be of unimportance portrays the stories and memories of individuals to bring out meaning.

For the opening, Radic and Correa visited Japan. “Both the closet and mattress are not significant enough to be classified under architecture. They are also too big in size to be classified as interior items. The closet stores people’s clothes, diaries, and photos, whereas the mattress is a place for people to sleep on. The mattress takes in the weight as well as the sweat of the people that sleep on it. Both items are a necessity for daily life. The two signify a place for self-reflection, away from the outside world,” explained the two artists.

The concept of a shelter, a place where one can be on one’s own and disconnect from the outside world, is a theme applied to many of their works. For example, at the Venice Architecture Biennale held in 2010, the artists presented their work titled “The Boy Hidden in a Fish,” with Kazuyo Seijima serving as curator.

By removing oneself from a formal and sometimes superficial setting, it becomes possible to reflect on the importance of one’s memories and history. The two artists come together from differing genres to create collaborations, which become food for thought.

【Event Information】
Smiljan Radic and Marcela Correa: “The Wardrobe and the Mattress”
Venue: Maison Hermès 8F FORUM
Address: 5-4-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Dates: until November 30th
Time: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm (until 7:00 pm on Sundays)
Admission free