It is almost 3 years since I, Angélique Sanossian, moved to Copenhagen and I have repeatedly postponed seeing the underground water reservoir beneath the green grass of Søndermarken across from Frederiksberg Castle.
They say, “Once the spacious venue was the city’s cisterns filled with 16 million liters of drinking water, but now the water is gone and has been replaced by art exhibitions and various events about the architecture and unique climate.”
Two Kiwis and a Syrian, we decided to check it out, the first time for the three of us. There was an opening of a new exhibition by a Japanese artist, HIROSHI SAMBUICHI.
(I took all the photos below with my mobile phone)
I personally have never been to Japan but I got feedback from two acquaintances who have been. They mostly mentioned the awkwardness you feel while you’re there. But on the other hand the way that the Japanese use light in their own museums, interiors and art installations and the approach they have to light is very unique and Magical … that is what one of my friends shared with me recently.
And yes this exhibition had a plan for me: to reinforce the idea of moving Japan to the top of my to do list …
You will find a dark, cold and moist underground world resembling the environment of an abandoned Temple. We had a choice of using paper lanterns as its Dark down there, but the three of us decided not to.
We used all our senses to discover the place, me being someone who is very open and one who loves to interact with people, space and with constant loud reflection. For a second I wished there was no one in the whole Space … I felt I want it just for myself, to explore the mirroring, the smell, the wood used, and most of all the sound of water.
The installation encourages us to voice each desire we have within, whether it is great or small, and to do this with a clear intention of receiving what we believe will bring us joy or something even better.
Our intelligence grows in capacity when we understand that every particle of energy that exists in the Universe is a child of the Creator and all particles, and beings, are equal in value to each other.
And at the same time, I get to appreciate the Central Sun as is the Heart of Heaven, a place of pure love that is unconditional.
I might sound very spiritual, but to be honest when I asked egoistically to have the space just for myself those were the things that ran through my mind during the time there and later that evening.
My Kiwi friends’, Kim and Steve’s Echo with their own words …
Steve Hoskins: “A harsh, hidden space brought to life with beams of light, fresh wood and flowing water.”
Kimberley Perry: It was hard to see what was in front of me to begin with, then my vision adjusted more and more. To see beams of light streaming in and meeting water droplets then fading, with the smell of newly cut wood, was like being in a different kind of world.
The installation the location and all the good use of my senses
on this sunny Sunday in Copenhagen
Encouraged me to still want to explore the exhibition at a different time
based on the calendar above
… EVERYTHING EVOLVES …
Read more about the exhibition in this press release from the Cisterns:
In 2017 Denmark and Japan celebrate 150 years of diplomatic relations. A variety of art cultural events will take place in both countries throughout the year to mark the anniversary.
In 2017 the ambitious exhibition in The Cisterns will be a journey through an underground sea of light and darkness, when the internationally acknowledged Japanese architect Hiroshi Sambuichi modifies the monumental halls. The Water is Sambuichis first major exhibition outside Japan.
Sambuichi utilises the details and natural phenomena of the Earth as building materials. His buildings give form to the character and hidden qualities of a specific place. The accumulation of ice on surrounding tree branches can dictate the structure of a building, and the direction of the wind can inform the format and function of a roof. Instead of creating a physical boundary between nature and architecture, he creates a symbiosis.
The architecture of Sambuichi is driven by the forces of nature, and his low-tech approach has become an admirable example of how to inhabit the Earth in a sustainable way and how to face the global challenges of the 21st century.
Sambuichi has scrutinized the depths of The Cisterns and the changing expression of the surrounding park, Søndermarken, through the changing seasons. This March, the numerous investigations take form as a wondrous art installation. Once again water will fill the former water reservoir. Natural daylight will find its way and plants will grow in a climate characterized by a high level of CO2. When crossing the underground sea, the visitor will walk on an interpretation of the Japanese Itsukushima Shrine on the island of Miyajima.
“It was an almost magical encounter, when we invited Sambuichi to see The Cisterns in 2015,” says Director of The Frederiksberg Museums, Astrid la Cour. “The various characteristics of The Cisterns that could be considered problematic – the constant flow of water, the extremely high humidity level, the 17 seconds of echo and the absence of daylight – were to Sambuichi the best possible starting point for a project. He immediately understood the unique character of the place.”
In accordance with the working method of Sambuichi, the opening hours of the exhibition will vary with the length of day. During winter, the exhibition will close as the sun sets at 3pm and during the brightest summer months The Cisterns will stay open until 8pm. Stay updated on the changing opening hours at cisternerne.dk/en.
Hiroshi Sambuichi (born 1968) established Sambuichi Architects in 2001. Early in his career Sambuichi obtained international recognition, and stands today as one of the top experimenta¬lists of sustainable architecture. Built upon both personal intuition and scientific investigations, his architecture attains a rare balance between poetics and science. Sambuichi is Honorary Professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture. In the beginning of 2017 he was rewarded the prestigious Wallpaper* Design Award for Naoshima Hall as best new public building.
The exhibition is part of the official celebration in 2017 of the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Denmark and Japan.
The Danish Architecture Centre shows the exhibition Hiroshi Sambuichi – Moving Materials from April 28 – June 25, which offers an in-depth insight into the architecture and thinking of Sambuichi. A ticket from Cisternerne gives a discount of 20 % on the entrance to the exhibition at The Danish Architecture Centre.
This blog post was written by ANGÉLIQUE SANOSSIAN