Tuesday, June 15, 2010

King St Art Gallery

inhabitation and experience

i believe in experience









anything that evokes an emotion, a feeling, a want, a need. Curiosity.

i do not believe an art gallery should be a white box, devoid of natural light. an art gallery should be an artwork in itself, interesting and evocative, yet able to be manipulated.

walk this way

get off the bus outside the Funky Monkey. see my gallery yet? no? keep walking. watch it gradually come into view. it grabs attention without being sensational. it does not break the line of the street, and yet the smooth timber facade, the glass display case, allows the eye to rest from the busy patchwork of shops, signs, windows, advertisements, shapes, colours that make up King Street. take a look at that big sculpture in the window. do you want to see more?

enter through the doorway. pebbles? a transition between the street and the interior. turn left and enter the magazine shop. here you can leaf through magazines, merchandise, and prints. feel free to buy whatever you like.

exit the shop and turn left. step down into the foyer. notice how calm and quiet it is. notice the soft carpet under your feel. take some time to read the displays about what is on. exit the corner into a dark room.

the space is large, dark. ambient sunlight enters through the skylights and stairway on a diagonal in the ceiling. the light reflects and refracts off the glass panel that reach floor to ceiling. artificial lighting shines into the darker corners.

walk around and through the glass panels. study the prints, pages, and covers. take a while to leaf through the books and magazines on the tables. rest on the lounges available, and then walk up the stairs.

notice how the light gets stronger. as you reach the top, look out the window directly in front of you. you can catch a glimpse of sunlight, glimpses the carpark next door, and the road further on. now turn around.

whats that you can see? its a sculpture by Amish Kapoor suspended between the walls, interacting with the walls and the void. it is inhabiting the space. you cant see much of it? thats ok, you may see more later on.

turn left. this is gallery two, where you can see Doris Salcedos work. turn left and you will pass through a series of small spaces where she has installed her art objects; tables, chairs, cupboards filled with concrete. notice how tight the spaces are, how narrow the doorsways are. youre being funneled through. turn the corner to the right and suddenly you can see to the end. that massive installation at the end is my favourite. slowly walk up the gallery, note how the ceiling gradually slopes up to address king street. step up onto the platform. feel free to walk in and around the sculpture. look out the window into the display case and you can see whatever is inside it from above. look, you can see king street through the glass.

turn back around and exit the gallery to the left. pass the stairs into gallery 3. this space is currently holding work by Ata Bozaci. notice the floor covering. it isnt concrete anymore, its asphalt. notice how the windows have no glass. notice how big they are. notice how you can hear sounds of the street, smell food and coffee from the cafe, and the air from the city. does it not make sense, to be able to hear, feel, and smell all these elements, permeating from the outside, when you view the urban, sometimes dark and gritty, work of Bozaci?

take a while to through through the art. note the strong light from the sharp diagonal of the room. notice the artwork residing in the light, how its silhouette is thrown on the floor. look out the window and you can see Kapoors artwork again, but this time from above. reach out the window and you can almost touch it.
now exit through the lift.

what is the first thing you see? through the glass, that massive sculpture by Chen Wenling. see how it is encased by the glass walls, but is open at the bottom, and how it almost reaches the whole height of the building? its as though the sculpture is made specifically for this space. lets go up to my apartment.

when you exit turn left. this is my courtyard, where i can stand and view my domain. this gallery was all created by myself, its like my kingdom and i love it. i can open up my living room and stand here in the day, look out over the sculpture, and out onto the park and the street. i can smell the coffee from the cafe and hear people talking, and yet im above it all enough for it to feel private. would you like a coffee? lets go down.

as you go down you can see the sculpture from the top to the bottom. you exit at the sculptures feet, and if you look up, you see how the size of it is emphazied by the glass surrounding it. the cafe is just to your right, take a seat. we can have functions in this space as well.

so what do you think?



Final Plans and Sections

Monday, June 14, 2010


Preliminary Plans and Sections

The sketches solidified into a series of plans and sections that contain three art galleries, a magazine shop, cafeteria, studio apartment, and service rooms such as office, workshop, toilet, and stockroom.

The artists that I decided to display the work of are artists whose work I think would "inhabit" the space provided.

In this scheme, one enters the art gallery from the King Street entrance into a magazine shop, where the entrance to the art gallery is located at the rear. At the front of the shop is a large 3 storey display case, that not only blocks out the sounds of King St, but allows for a large scale sculpture or installation to draw people into the gallery.

Gallery 1 for typographical art, magazine layouts, and graphic design would contain movable glass panels that visitors could move in and around. The space would be darkened with skylights leading into the void, and light from these would be reflected and refracted through the space.

One moves up the stairs into Gallery 2 or 3. Gallery 2 contains work by Doris Salcedo. As one enters the room, they are channeled through a series of smaller rooms, before they turn the corner and their view is lead by the outward extending walls, to a larger gallery space. This space would largely contain installations or objects.

Gallery 3 contains work by Ata "Toast" Bozaci, which includes more graphic, urban art. The corner in the room may contain a sculpture.

One may then move down the the lift. The glass face of the lift allows for a view of a massive 3 storey sculpture by Chen Wenling that would be seen in the space. Exiting at the ground floor brings you to a cafe and function area, where visitors may rest, and chat before exiting the art gallery.

The curator is a man whose work involves graphic design, but has an interest in a wide variety of contemporary art. A Willem Sandberg-esque character who creates all this own brochures, fliers, and advertisments. His apartment is located at the top of the art gallery, where the most light is available. His living area opens up into a courtyard directly over the foyer where Chen Wenling's sculpture is placed, allowing him to be at 'head height' of the sculpture, smell the cafe and listen to the sounds of people talking, and look out through the glass to the park and the street.

Initial Sketches

My initial idea for the art gallery was that of a gallery dedicated to graphic design, magazine layouts, and typographical art. This was derived from my own interest in graphic design, as well as research on curator and designer Willem Sandberg. However as the form of the gallery came about, other types of artworks seemed to grow in the spaces, and the artworks in the gallery branched out into sculpture and installation.

The form of the gallery came about through a desire to have a strong diagonal, and from this diagonal, a strong circulation point. I felt that some form of diagonal, or skewed shapes and lines, were required to add a dynamic to the building that might other wise simply be a long, rectangular box. I felt that such a form would be emphasized given the 30 m site restrictions, the limited solar access, and the narrow width of the site.

I also thought that the unusual shapes of the rooms that would be derived from the the diagonal would be a fun and interesting challenge to work around.