Kenzo Tange: Architecture

Kenzo Tange - Fuji TV Building - Odaiba-Tokyo

Once in a while, I take the scenic train out to Odaiba – an artificial island originally constructed in the 1850′s in Tokyo for defensive purposes. Today the island is a major tourist attraction for sightseeing and shopping.  While some mock the island for being the “United States of Odaiba” (Statue of Liberty included), one can’t deny that the area is home to some of the most interesting architecture in Tokyo.

My favourite building on the island is the Fuji TV headquarters designed by architect Kenzo Tange. One of the most significant architects of the 20th century, Tange was born in Osaka in 1913. He completed his undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in Architecture at the University of Tokyo. In 1946  he became an assistant professor and opened the Tange laboratory at the University.

Tange is known for combining traditional Japanese styles with modernism, and has designed major buildings in Japan and around the world including the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (1949), the Yoyogi National Gymnasium (1964), the AMA Building in Chicago (1987), the University of Bahrain (1998), and others.

An influential architect in the Structuralist movement, Tange’s designs have won him international acclaim and numerous awards including the Pritzker Prize for the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, designed for the 1964 Summer Olympics, the AIA Gold Medal (1966), the Order of Culture (1980),  the Order of the Sacred Treasures (1994), and France’s Order of the Legion of Honor (1996).

Kenzo Tange died on March 22, 2005. His funeral was held in the Tokyo Cathedral, one of his most stunning creations.

For more information visit the Kenzo Tange Associates website.

Kenzo Tange - Yoyogi National Gymnasium St Marys Cathedral - Tokyo Kenzo Tange -Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Sources: Kenzo Tange Associates, Wikipedia
paintings: art paintings, portrait paintings and oil painting

Patricia Piccinini: Hyperrealism

Patricia Piccinini - The Young Famil - 2003 10bodyguard_for_the_golden_helmeted_honeyeater The Long Awaited - Patricia Piccinini

Today, we look at the hyperrealist sculptures of Patricia Piccinini.  Piccinini was born in 1965 in Freetown, Sierra Leone and moved to Australia in 1972.  Piccinini has a Bachelor of Arts (Economic History), from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Arts in Painting from the Victorian College of the Arts.

To construct her bizarre but lovable characters, Piccinini uses a number of ingredients including silicone, fibreglass, human hair, leather, plywood, clothing, polyurethane, leather, and mdf.

Piccinini has received worldwide attention for her works that explore themes of biotechnology and contemporary ideas about nature that take us to a “post-Darwinian destination populated with fantastical creatures, new communities and bioethical conundrums.”

Children are often featured in Piccinini’s sculptures: “A young child represents possibility, both positive and negative. Also babies don’t make judgments. The world is totally new to them – they just take it in. They have no expectation and are always surprised. Children aren’t threatening. On the contrary, they bring out the best in us; we want to care for them, protect them. I use children to evoke the idea of vulnerability. In my work, it is often the creatures that seem vulnerable. They are mostly reliant on us and at our mercy.”

Piccinini is not only a sculptor, but works in a variety of mediums including drawing, painting, video, sound, interactive CD’s, and digital images. She has had numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide including Australia, New York, Japan, Peru and the Philippines, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, France, Italy, Wales, Korea, and New Zealand.

To explore more of Patricia Piccinini’s diverse works, visit

hellopossums1yc  Patricia Piccinini - Big Mother - 2005 20undivided

35surrogate_for_the_northern_hairynosed_wombat patricia-piccinini-from-leather-landscape the-stags-patricia-piccinini

Souces: Brooklyn Museum, National Gallery of Victoria
paintings: art paintings, portrait paintings and oil painting