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KiKi ARCHi Redefines Exhibition Spaces with Tan Zhuo's INACTUEL

KiKi ARCHi, the award-winning architecture and design firm founded by Japanese architects Yoshihiko Seki and Saika Akiyoshi, has recently collaborated with artist Tan Zhuo to present her solo exhibition, INACTUEL. The exhibition features over 20 artworks that reflect the artist's profound insights into life, technology, past and future, and individual existence.


KiKi ARCHi helps design Tan Zhuo's INACTUEL

Photography courtesy of KiKi ARCHi


INACTUEL is not just an exhibition of art; it is also an exploration of space. KiKi ARCHi used the content of Tan Zhuo's works to incorporate elements of painting, connecting the moving line, theme, and display form of the exhibition seamlessly. The design team restructured the framework for viewing the exhibition to provide a rich sensory experience.


The exhibition begins with an acrylic arch and enters a narrow exhibition area of about 172 square meters and a rectangular main exhibition area of 320 square meters. The special easels, composed of transparent bases and white backgrounds, make the paintings float in mid-air and play an excellent rhythm in the stillness. The creative elements in the paintings become the blueprint for the classification and refinement of the exhibits by KiKi Architects: dots, rays, irregular slices, liquid shapes, etc., which leap out of the flat world and evolve into a new transmission medium, extending into three-dimensional space.


Photography courtesy of KiKi ARCHi


The exhibition's design is inspired by three-dimensional space-time, and the design team used this inspiration to create a unique viewing experience. Stand in the long and narrow exhibition area, red balls hover vertically in mid-air, and the colorful carbon fiber lines connect heaven and earth. They guide the eyes to look up and shift, inspire people to explore and think in multiple dimensions, and form a potential, blurred boundary to separate the different exhibition sections.


Imagine entering an exhibition space where the rectangular main area immediately captures your attention. The energy and unsteady flow of the space are emphasized by the white liquid figure that seems to have gushed out of a painting, covering the concrete floor with material floor glue. This unconventional approach breaks the rules and frames of the front half and spreads freely, creating a unique and captivating experience. As you take in the surroundings, you'll notice a large area of white space in the center, inviting you to pause and reflect. This is the perfect spot to meditate and return to a state of emptiness, allowing you to self-inspect and contemplate in peace.


Photography courtesy of KiKi ARCHi


The work takes irregular geometric slices as the background, scattered around the white ground. With the help of the optical principle of the slice lamp, the design team projects the corresponding form of the work on the wall, like a mirror, forming an intriguing contrast. These separate elements shuttling between the works, in the form of points, lines, and surfaces, build a dynamic balance, behind which is the operation of spatial thinking and logic.


KiKi ARCHi is a design firm that specializes in various fields, such as architecture, interior design, gardening, installation art, and new media art. They have worked on several projects related to culture and public welfare, including the Quanzhou Contemporary Art Museum, Mogao Art School, and Dao Temple. The company has also created installations and new media art projects such as 'QUAD,' an installation in Boston, and 'Magma: Impromptu Music Novel,' a live music exhibition in Lake Kinrin, Oita. KiKi ARCHi has also worked on various residential projects such as Anna Garden, House in White, and Doma House, as well as office, showroom, and retail projects like Tiantong Law Office, Light Echo: TW Showroom, EMPEROR Concept Silk Store, and Sorairo Wagashi Store.


Left: Founder of KiKi ARCHi, Yoshihiko Seki

Right: Founder of KiKi ARCHi, Saika Akiyoshi

Photography courtesy of KiKi ARCHi


The founders of KiKi ARCHi, Yoshihiko Seki and Saika Akiyoshi, have a unique approach to design, combining external perceptual experience with their own knowledge system, internalizing it into a harmonious but different humanistic idea, and then extending to the virtual and real dimensions of space, such as spirit, form, structure, and texture. Both founders share a master's degree in architecture from Shibaura Institute of Technology but have worked worldwide. Their inclusive heart for the independence and integration of different cultures and individuals is evident in their works.


KiKi ARCHi has won many awards at home and abroad, such as the QUAD 2016 Competition in Boston, the 2017 JCD Design Award Best100, the 2019 JCD KUKAN Design Award, and the 2022 iF Design Award.


KiKi ARCHi helps design Tan Zhuo's INACTUEL

INACTUEL is an exquisite example of KiKi ARCHi's design philosophy, as it redefines exhibition spaces and creates a unique viewing experience that immerses the viewer in the artworks. Tan Zhuo's works and KiKi ARCHi's design elements blend seamlessly, creating a dynamic balance that reflects the operation of spatial thinking and logic. The exhibition is a must-see for art lovers and design enthusiasts alike.

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