Activating existing spaces through site-specific, multi-media interventions
Reinterpreting Forms of Sacred Space from Tibet and Japan:
Design and solo construction of a meditation space and rock garden in the sunken courtyard of Le Corbusier's Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University. Honors thesis in Visual and Environmental Studies and East Asian Studies. Exhibited January-March 2003.
Drawing upon a year of travel and research on the forms and principles of temple architecture in Tibet, China, India and Japan, this installation transformed the neglected sunken courtyard of Corbusier's Carpenter center into a space for meditation and silence. From the heart of the bustling Harvard campus, the visitor descends into a landscape of stone and wood before entering a canvas-screened room at the heart of the installation. Within this luminous box, isolated from the Carpenter Center's structural grid and framed by a cairn of rough stones, a single massive column becomes an axis mundi, the physical and conceptual heart of the installation.
For more information about this piece, read Ken Gewertz's feature article in the Harvard Gazette
Mural design transforming an underground storage space into a popular student music venue. Harvard University, 2002.
Known as "The Cage" because of the floor-to-cieling wire mesh wall that divides the space from an adjacent hallway, this room was originally used to store students' furniture over the summer. In 2002, a group of musicians decided that the space would be an ideal venue for Harvard's first independent, student-run open mic and freestyle sessions. Inspired by the room's small size and low ceilings, this installation uses orange paint to mark and extend the existing lines of water pipes, air ducts and structural columns into the 2-D planes of the walls, floor and ceiling.
Design Festa Gallery:
Site-specific mural incorporating exterior wall, paving stones and electric cables. Tokyo, Japan. April-October 2004.
The salaryman is an icon of contemporary Japanese culture. According to one stereotype, he works 14-hour days in a tiny cubicle, rarely spends time with his wife and children, and essentially sells out his freedom, creativity and individuality for the security of a corporate office job. Another stereotype casts him as a highly disciplined, focused and loyal warrior, as unwavering as the noble samurai. After spending 3 months working in one of the largest corporate office centers in Tokyo, trudging to work amidst a sea of uniform black suits, black hair and black shoes, I became obsessed with the black-and-white image of the Japanese salaryman as a graphic device and as a larger metaphor for the stereotypes many Westerners hold regarding the creativity (or lack therof) and homogeneity of Asian people as a whole.
The project began as a series of stencils which I spray-painted around the corporate areas of Tokyo, and evolved into a wall mural for the Design Festa Gallery in Harajuku.
Gund Hall Gallery:
Metropolis: Art and the City:
Spray paint on plywood installation for State of the Art Productions. Adams House Art Space. Harvard. Feb 2003
Check out J Roth's installation in the same room: