2016 Snapshot 16 Simple and Plain

Kunikatsu Seto’s Gallery
One of the twentieth century’s most important building materials is without doubt concrete.  It has a long history but it was not until the modern period that concrete as a major construction material came into its own.  Unfinished or “fair faced concrete”  found particular favour in Japan.  Above the 1964 Tokyo Olympic pool and basket ball stadium designed by Kenzo Tange are particularly good examples of this building technique.  Since their construction, however, the buildings have needed repair as the reinforcing steel-work has become exposed.  The cause is thought to be too much salt in the sand for the concrete mix, which may have been a result of too much haste in construction.

Here in Wajima fair faced concrete has been paired with timber weather boarding.  The composition is simple and plain and the finish of the interior is the same.  As a backdrop for the inspirational lacquerwork of Kunikatsu Seto it could not be better (from Noto 16/01/2016 On Two Fronts, 07/07/2015 Inspired).  Natural wood, fair faced concrete—both are respected in Japan for what they are.  Materials with their own beauty and appeal. 

Kunikatsu’s work can be seen at http://www.seto-kunikatsu.com

Bill Tingey Photo © Copyright

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