»THE ALUMNIUM GARDEN - STRUCTURAL STUDIES OF PLANTS« TOSHIHIKO MITSUYA and JUNE 14 MEYER-GROHBRÜGGE & CHERMAYEFF STUDIO PICKNICK, Berlin 16. - 30. September 2015
Curated by Celina Basra
Japanese artist TOSHIHIKO MITSUYA and the architects of JUNE 14 MEYER-GROHBRÜGGE & CHERMAYEFF present the THE ALUMINIUM GARDEN: an installation of 180 structural studies of plants, specifically designed for the space, hand-made out of aluminium foil. Aluminium is a surface material shaped by the forces around it. Far from static, it takes on the feeling of its surroundings, the wind, the light and the hands that touch it. As a material, aluminium starts in a huge factory and ends in something precious yet transitive: the installation reclaims an industrial material back to nature. Toshihiko Mitsuya has been working with the medium for a long time, creating sculptures from miniature to monumental, fusing myth and contemporary visual culture. THE ALUMINIUM GARDEN is the third collaboration between the artist and studio JUNE 14, Johanna Meyer-Grohbrügge and Sam Chermayeff, who previously worked with Sanaa in Japan, and designed this year's exhibition architecture for abc art fair, as well as the garden of St. Agnes, amongst others. THE ALUMINIUM GARDEN tests the boundaries of the material, which can develop immense strength, while appearing fragile and delicate. Because of its soft properties, each plant, and thus the whole garden, can change its shape, considering the elements and direction of light in its set-up. Thus, the plants form one continuous landscape and become a flexible architecture to shape a social environment. On entering the garden, visitors experience a space that activates the senses; they link the plants to the natural models in their visual memory, adding colours, movement and sounds in their mind. Historically, the garden is a place where science and sensuality coalesce. It is a laboratory, botanical landscape, and a space of experience, combining the senses of touch, sight, smell and sound. Garden design unites multiple genres of arts and crafts; it is the place where nature and architecture meet. A garden can be a symbol of power, but also a place of contemplation and privacy. A garden is never one, always many. Like the collaboration of June 14 and Toshihiko Mitsuya, a garden is a polylog, never a monologue; forming a collective organism and an oscillating field of force, with the plants playing the role of guest and host at the same time.