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Terunobu Fujimori & Nobumichi Oshima, Teahouse Tetsu, 2006. Photo: Masuda Akihisa.


EXHIBITION, LECTURES, WORKSHOP
SHELTER: ON KINDNESS
Presented by RMIT Gallery in association with ArtPlay
as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival


Events include:




PUBLIC LECTURE
Terunobu Fujimori
Translator: architect Jun Sakaguchi.
VENUE: RMIT Storey Hall
TIME: Tuesday 6 October 7-8.30 pm.
Gold coin donation
Bookings essential: 9925 171 or www.rmit.edu.au/rmitgallery

Terunobu Fujimori will speak about his architectural activities, as well as his involvement in the construction of unique contemporary teahouses. From his first unique project - described as “It Makes me Feel Nostalgic, Though I Have Never Seen It Before”, Professor Fujimori has worked to create architecture that he describes as “international vernacular”. He said he has tried to adopt the following two rules as a design policy:
1. The building should not resemble anyone else’s building, past or present, or any style that has developed since the Bronze Age.
2. Natural materials should be used on parts of the building that are visible, and at times plants should be incorporated in the building, so as to harmonize the building with nature.”

Terunobu Fujimori is a Professor at the University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science where his main focus is architectural history and the history of technology. He exhibited in the Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2006.

The acclaimed Japanese architect Professor Terunobu Fujimori will be arriving at RMIT Gallery on Monday 28 September. Prof Fujimori will be constructing a 4 m high contemporary teahouse in RMIT Gallery as part of the Shelter: On Kindness exhibition, 25 September - 25 October, as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival (see below). The exhibition asks more than 50 artists, architects, writers and philosophers to explore the concept of shelter in a physical and metaphorical sense. Professor Fujimori will be making use of wood from bushfire affected areas in Victoria to echo the loss of shelter and home that has resulted from the devastating fires.







Terunobu Fujimori & Jun Sakaguchi, Architects, Japan.
Exhibited Project: Tea House, 2009
This 4m-high contemporary Japanese teahouse built inside the gallery by internationally renowned Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori has incorporated wood from bushfire-affected areas in his teahouse. This material reflects the loss of shelter in Victoria. A Project team of RMIT Architecture students assisted the Curator Vanessa Gerrans in assembling the installation.


EXHIBITION
SHELTER: ON KINDNESS
RMIT Gallery

Curators:
Suzanne Davies, Vanessa Gerrans and Sarah Morris

RMIT Gallery brings together artists, architects, writers and thinkers to reflect on what qualities of environment and circumstance afford us shelter in a physical and metaphorical sense. Is shelter a sense of safe haven, a place to protect ourselves from the natural elements, from the unrelenting pressures of modern life or, perhaps, a place or space to reflect on our innermost thoughts?

Shelter: On Kindness is about tea houses, contemporary architecture, cattlemen’s huts and aboriginal shades. It examines ideas of nurture and kindness through the filter of the writings of psychoanalyst and author Adam Phillips and historian Barbara Taylor in On Kindness, Penguin, 2009. (see below)

EXHIBITION OPENING EVENT:
Wednesday 7th October, 6-8pm

OPENING ADDRESS:
Professor Margaret Gardner AO, Vice Chancellor and President of RMIT University.

RSVP:
03 9925 1717
rmit.gallery@rmit.edu.au

EXHIBITION DATES:
25th September - 25th October 2009

EXHIBITION VENUE:
RMIT Gallery
344 Swanston Street Melbourne 3000
Tel: +61 39925 1717
Hours: Mon-Friday 11-5, Saturday 2-5
Closed sundays and public holidays. Lift Access. Free Admission.
Email: rmit.gallery@rmit.edu.au

RMIT Gallery:
www.rmit.edu.au/rmitgallery


Exhibitors and participants include:
  • Dr. Charles Anderson, Artist, RMIT Landscape Architecture Senior Lecturer, Melbourne
  • Robert Bridgewater, Artist
  • Gregory Burgess, Practice Director: Greg Burgess Architects & Pip Stokes, Artist, Melbourne
  • Lorraine Connelly-Northey, Waradgerie Artist
  • Dr. Peter Corrigan, RMIT Architecture Professor, Practice Director: Edmond and Corrigan Architects, Melbourne
  • William Eicholtz, Artist
  • Terunobu Fujimori & Jun Sakaguchi, Architects, Japan. A Project team of RMIT Architecture students assisted the Curator Vanessa Gerrans in assembling the installation.
  • Stephen Haley, Artist
  • Jane & Tor Holth, Writers
  • Alan Johnston & David Connearn
  • LAB Architecture Studio, Melbourne
  • Ronnie Lacham, Artist, Industrial Designer, Melbourne
  • March Studio, Architects
  • Paul Memmott, Professor of Architecture, University of Queensland
  • Prof Murdo Macdonald, Artist
  • John R Neeson, Artist
  • NMBW Architecture Studio, Practice Directors: Nigel Bertram, RMIT Architecture Senior Lecturer, Marika Neustupny, with a project team of RMIT Architecture Students
  • Adam Phillips & Barbara Taylor, authors of On Kindness, Penguin, 2009. (see below)
  • RMIT Indigenous Arts Unit
  • Alan Saunders, Radio National


Exhibited Projects include:




Terunobu Fujimori & Jun Sakaguchi, Architects, Japan.
Exhibited Project: Tea House, 2009
Burnt timber salvaged from recent bushfires in Kinglake, Victoria
A Project team of RMIT Architecture students assisted the Curator Vanessa Gerrans in assembling the installation.




Gregory Burgess and Pip Stokes
Exhibited Project: SENSE, 2009
beeswax, raw silk cocoon silk, mixed media, dimensions variable,
courtesy of the artists.




March Studio
Exhibited Project: 4” x 2” Nest, 2009
digital image, courtesy of the artists.



NMBW Architecture Studio
Practice Directors:
Nigel Bertram, RMIT Architecture Senior Lecturer & Marika Neustupny,
with
RMIT Architecture Student project team

Exhibited Project: Corners


Open publication. Booklet by RMIT Architecture students Ariana Harasymiw
+
Gaudensia Olago-Odeny.


Open publication. Booklet by RMIT Architecture student Jennie Lang.


Open publication. Booklet by RMIT Architecture student Luca Lana.


Open publication. Booklet by RMIT Architecture student Mike Sharp.


Open publication. Booklet by RMIT Architecture student Rathyana Renthawa.


Communication Design by Chase & Galley© Melbourne 2009





PUBLIC PROGRAMS
Sept/Oct 2009




ARTIST FLOOR TALK
Terunobu Fujimori
Translator: Marika Neustupny, Architecture Practice: NMBW.
VENUE: RMIT Gallery
TIME: Thursday 1 October 1-2pm. Free event
Renowned Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori will talk about chashitsu - architectural spaces designed for tea ceremonies.

TEA CEREMONY
Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony
VENUE: RMIT Gallery, Under the Fujimori & Sakaguchi teahouse.
TIME: Saturday 24 October 1pm and 2pm. Free event


ARTIST FLOOR TALK
William Eicholtz, artist
RMIT Gallery Sunday 25 October 1-2pm Free event
Sculptor William Eicholtz reflects on the influence of European Baroque architecture.


Bookings:
RMIT Gallery
ph 9925 1717



       




ARTPLAY WORKSHOP
October 2009




Presented by RMIT Gallery @ ArtPlay
as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival:

ARTPLAY WORKSHOP
Design & Construction Workshop
Worshop Leaders:
Nigel Bertram, RMIT Architecture Senior Lecturer and Marika Neustupny, Directors of NMBW, and RMIT Architecture students help children build shelters for kind moments.
VENUE: ArtPlay, Birrarung Marr, behind Federation Square
TIMES: Sat 17 & Sun 18 October, 2009; 5 to 8 years, 10am-noon;  8 to 12 years, 1.30-3.30pm
COST: $10 per child.
Bookings essential: ArtPlay ph. 9664 7900.

ARTPLAY EXHIBITION
Design & Construction Exhibition
VENUE: ArtPlay, Birrarung Marr, behind Federation Square
TIMES: Wed 21-Sun 25 October, Wed-Fri 10am-2pm. Sat & Sun 12 noon-4pm.
Come and inhabit an exhibition of the life-size shelters built in the workshop, inspired by kindness. Made with care, a gift from ArtPlay children to you.
All ages. No booking required. Free.


ARTISTS' TALK
Mia Mias
VENUE: ArtPlay, Birrarung Marr, behind Federation Square
TIME: Saturday 24 October 1-2 pm
Koori Elders Aunty Bunta Patten and Uncle Herb Patten, RMIT Indigenous Arts Unit, talk about their experience with Indigenous shelters - Mia Mias - and mission life.
$5 per child. Accompanying adults free. Bookings essential: ArtPlay: 9664 7900.

Shelter: On Kindness @ Art Play










The Shelter: On Kindness exhibition examines ideas drawn from the writings of British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips and historian Barbara Taylor:




Adam Phillips and Barbara Taylor
On Kindness, London: Penguin/Hamish Hamilton, 2009
ISBN: 9780241144336
Forthcoming on paperback

The pleasures of kindness have been well known since the dawn of Western thought. Kindness, declared Marcus Aurelius, was mankind's 'greatest delight' — and centuries-worth of thinkers and writers have echoed him. But today many people seem to find these pleasures literally incredible. Instead of embracing the benefits of kindness, as a species we seem to be becoming deeply and fundamentally antagonistic to each other, with motives that are generally self-seeking. This book explains how and why this has come about, and argues that the affectionate life — a life lived in instinctive sympathetic identification with the vulnerabilities and attractions of others — is the one we should all be inclined to live.

'We mutually belong to one another,' as the philosopher Alan Ryan writes, and the good life is one 'that reflects this truth'. What the Victorians called 'open-heartedness' and the Christians 'caritas' remains essential to our emotional and mental health, for reasons both obvious and hidden, argue the authors of this elegant and indispensable exploration of the concept of kindness.


Video Interview with Adam Philips about shelter and kindness on YouTube:

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RMIT NEWS
Shelter: On Kindness
September 21 2009

An exhibition bringing together more than 50 artists, architects, writers and philosophers to explore the notion of shelter and kindness will open at RMIT Gallery on 25 September.

Curated by Suzanne Davies, Vanessa Gerrans and Sarah Morris, Shelter: On Kindness explores philosophical and material concepts of shelter.

Presented by RMIT Gallery in association with ArtPlay and Melbourne International Arts Festival, the exhibition examines ideas of nurture and kindness through the filter of the writings of UK psychoanalyst and author Adam Phillips, who argues that we have a deep need to be kind to each other and we crave kindness with intensity.

“Real kindness is an exchange with essentially unpredictable consequences,” he said.

Chief Curator and Gallery Director, Suzanne Davies, said this idea was reflected in the exhibition, which was a bold experiment, the results and impact of which as a show would continue to resonate beyond the moment of material completion of the artworks.

“The exhibition brief was not prescriptive. Participants were asked to respond instinctively to the notions of shelter and kindness,” Ms Davies said.

“Everyone involved has had to work together, demonstrating their ability to accommodate each other’s desires and needs.”

The range of ideas and visceral experiences is sweeping. The principal participants – Charles Anderson, Robert Bridgewater, Gregory Burgess and Pip Stokes, Lorraine Connelly-Northey, Peter Corrigan, William Eicholtz ,Terunobu Fujimori and Jun Sakaguchi , Stephen Haley, Jane and Tor Holth, Alan Johnston and David Connearn, LAB Architecture Studio, Ronnie Lacham, March Studio, Paul Memmott, Murdo Macdonald, John R Neeson, NMBW Architecture Studio, Adam Phillips and Barbara Taylor, RMIT Indigenous Arts Unit and Alan Saunders – have all responded with their own unique vision.

The scene-stealer is a 4m-high contemporary Japanese teahouse built inside the gallery by internationally renowned Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori, who is visiting Melbourne for the exhibition.

Professor Fujimori, who will conduct a public lecture about his work at RMIT Storey Hall on 6 October, has incorporated wood from bushfire-affected areas in his teahouse.

Gathered and tied together by RMIT Gallery staff and RMIT Architecture students, this material reflects the loss of shelter in Victoria.

The teahouse is just one of many giant shelters constructed in the gallery. March Studio is using 20 tonnes of sustainable timber to create an almost 5m nest to hide inside, while Gregory Burgess and Pip Stokes incorporate 400 blocks of beeswax, weighing more than 9kg each, into their structure.






Architect Charles Anderson under his ceiling sculpture.
Photo: Roger Cummins

REVIEW ARTICLE
"Close encounters with kindness"
Andrew Stephens
TheAge, September 23 2009

Can architecture be kind? Andrew Stephens explores an exhibition dedicated to this virtue.

FOR the past 16 years, Charles Anderson has been taking photographs of ceilings he has slept beneath as a guest - about 200 by his latest count. It sounds like a peculiar, even dull, sort of project, but these ceilings, for Anderson, are evidence of the kindness offered to him, metaphors for the hospitality and generosity of the people who took him in.

Ceilings are, he says, blank screens upon which we project our imaginings while idly lying in bed staring up. They shelter us, protect us from the elements and dangers outside.

While there are many different types of ceiling in Anderson's beautiful photographs, they all offer rich, suffusing colours - the warm glow of homeliness and kindness. This glow is a recurring motif in the new exhibition Shelter: On Kindness at RMIT Gallery, which looks at manifestations of human kindness in architecture - both physical and more psychological sorts of structures.

One of the works is a delightful Japanese tea-house teetering on a tree trunk, made by Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori. Constructed from charred wood when first made in Japan, the curators have arranged for the Melbourne version to be made with burnt timber retrieved from Kinglake, honouring the spirit of community kindness that met the grief of those who lost loved ones and homes in February's bushfires.

In a corner of another room in the gallery is a cubby hole into which visitors can retreat. Designed by NMBW Architecture Studio, it will house images of little, out-of-the-way city spaces that attract the homeless: ledges, corners, nooks and hidey holes.

And in the main gallery there is an enormous, nest-like cube made of planks of wood, glowing invitingly from within, by March Studio designers. Its secret entrance might be discovered by some visitors, who will then experience its warmth from within. A kind feeling will permeate the air; people will inhabit these structures for a while, soak up the mood and, hopefully, retain a smile when they leave.

In their recent book, On Kindness, British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips and historian Barbara Taylor argue that contemporary Western culture has forgotten about kindness and its deep pleasures. They suggest kindness has become ''our forbidden pleasure'', something suspect because ''most people appear to believe that deep down they (and other people) are mad, bad and dangerous to know'' - that we are fundamentally antagonistic towards one another and have self-seeking motives.

The book inspired the gallery's director, Suzanne Davies, to pursue an idea for an exhibition she has been nurturing for many years - to explore what shelter means for our sense of human kindness, and how architecture can provoke such feelings and actions.

''I am conscious, wherever I go in the world, of architecture that is welcoming to people - and architecture that is quite alienating,'' Davies says. ''I began to think about kindness - not the sentimental kind but the imperative to be kind without conditions. What's at risk when we're kind? Why do we hesitate or caution ourselves?''

The artists have explored this in different ways.

Anderson, an architect, has installed his photos - 32 of the 200 - as a false ceiling in an unremarkable corridor off the main foyer of the RMIT Gallery, where the visitors may be invited to lie or sit beneath the photos.

''The ceiling marks some sort of trajectory through the world, but in gathering them together, in a funny sort of way it makes a single place,'' Anderson reflects.

Such a luxurious experience - reclining to gaze at a ceiling - might not be unusual in an art gallery, but would be unlikely in most public spaces these days.

Davies worries about how we are increasingly losing control over public space. She says: ''If Melbourne has any substance behind its ambit claims as being a centre for creativity, as being so 'liveable' … we have to be prepared to open up the issues (about public space) for discussion, generate discussions about what it means to be kind.''

Perhaps the answer lies in what Phillips and Taylor suggest in their book: that acts of kindness demonstrate we are ''vulnerable and dependent animals'', that its pleasures have nothing to do with moral superiority or ''the protection racket of good feelings''. Rather, kindness helps us to include ourselves with others. In the architecture we inhabit with our fellows - strangers as well as loved ones - we might be able to foster this.

Shelter: On Kindness opens on Friday at RMIT Gallery, Swanston Street, as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival.

http://rmit.edu.au/rmitgallery




MEDIA ARTICLE
Bushfire sparks Japanese teahouse
Architecture & Design
16 October 2009 | by Olivia Collings




RMIT Architecture Project Coordinator:
Nigel Bertram, RMIT Architecture Senior Lecturer
Practice Directors: NMBW Architecture Studio