Publication

  • 1972–Nakagin Capsule Tower
    Noritaka Minami, Ken Yoshida, and Julian Rose
    Authors
    Kehrer Verlag, 2015
  • GRANTEE
    Noritaka Minami & Ken Yoshida
    GRANT YEAR
    2015

Noritaka Minami, Façade 1, 2011, Tokyo, Japan. Courtesy of the artist.

1972–Nakagin Capsule Tower investigates the current state of the Nakagin Capsule Tower, an experimental apartment complex built in Tokyo by the architect Kisho Kurokawa. Completed in 1972, following Kurokawa's participation in the burgeoning Metabolism movement, it is the first structure in the world to incorporate replaceable housing capsules. Although the building was promoted in the media to symbolize "the dawn of the capsule age," it became the last of its kind realized in Japan. Furthermore, the capsules have never been replaced during the building's existence, even though they were originally intended for a lifespan of twenty-five years.  This project is based on the extensive photographic documentation performed inside the building during a period in which it faced an uncertain future in regards to its preservation.  The publication presents numerous capsules in varying conditions and examines what became of this prototype for the future Kurokawa proposed in 1972.

Noritaka Minami is an artist based in Chicago. He is currently assistant professor of photography at Loyola University. Before moving to Chicago, he taught courses at Harvard University, Wellesley College, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and University of California, Berkeley. Minami received his BA in art practice from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004, and his MFA in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine in 2011. Solo exhibitions of his works have been held at UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design, Griffin Museum of Photography, and UC Merced Art Gallery. His works have also been exhibited in group shows at Las Cienegas Projects (Los Angeles), the New Wight Gallery (Los Angeles), and Kearney Street Workshop (San Francisco). He was the recipient of an artist residency from the Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York in 2014.

Ken Yoshida is assistant professor in the Global Arts Studies Program at the University of California, Merced. His research focuses on postwar Japanese avant-garde art and criticism. His manuscript, tentatively titled, Between Matter and Ecology: Antihumanism and Art in Postwar Japan, positions the anthropofugal tendencies among artists and critics as a critique of postwar liberalism and environmental planning. His work also examines how contemporary Japanese art criticism can function to trouble the epistemological ordering of global art history primarily conducted through Western institutions. His publications include, "The Undulating Contours of Sogo Geijutsu (Gesamtkunstwerk): Hanada Kiyoteru's Thoughts on Transmedia" (Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 2012), "Contemporary Art and Unconditionality: 'The Genus of Art' in Chiba Shigeo's Art Criticism" (Japan Forum, 2014), "Interstitial Movements in the Works of Hanada Kiyoteru: A Preliminary Study" (positions: east asia critique, 2014), and "Contemporary Art and the Future: Sawaragi Noi's Polemical Recoil" (Review of Japanese Culture and Society, 2015).