Sometimes the river is the bridge by Olafur Eliasson

Tokyo, 2020

Olafur Eliasson’s exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) centres on the theme of ‘ecological awareness’ and marks his first show in Japan for 10 years.

Eliasson, intimately familiar with nature’s beauty since his childhood days in Iceland, has engaged with nature and natural environments in his works for many years. The theme of the exhibition reflects his stance on Japan’s nature and the urgently pressing problem of global climate change.

The title of the exhibition hints at the awareness of nature – in the form of rivers – as an important mediator of relationships between people or objects.

A new piece has been created for the exhibition following research into the use of water in traditional Japanese gardens. Utilizing the cavernous space of the MOT’s atrium, the variety of forms that emerge from water and waves come together to produce a sort of symphony.

Visitors will enter the space through a curtain created using 300m of the Campas textile by Finn Sködt for Kvadrat.

Olafur Eliasson and Kvadrat have worked together on numerous projects for more than ten years, a journey that started with the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in 2007 and has continued ever since.

9 June – 27 September 2020

Opening hours
Monday, closed
Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00

Artist Olafur Eliasson (IS/DK), born 1967, works in a wide range of media, including installation, painting, sculpture, photography, and film. Since 1997, his solo shows have appeared in major museums around the world. Eliasson’s projects in public space include The New York City Waterfalls in 2008, and Ice Watch for which Eliasson, with geologist Minik Rosing, brought melting ice blocks from Greenland to Copenhagen in 2014 and to Paris on the occasion of the COP21 Climate Conference in 2015. Established in 1995, his studio today numbers about ninety craftsmen, architects, archivists, administrators, and cooks.

In 2014, Eliasson and architect Sebastian Behmann founded Studio Other Spaces, an office for art and architecture focusing on interdisciplinary and experimental building projects and works in public space. Together with engineer Frederik Ottesen, Eliasson founded the social business Little Sun in 2012. This global project produces and distributes the Little Sun solar lamp for use in off-grid communities and spreads awareness about the need to expand access to sustainable energy to all.

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