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Article

Michael Spens

(b Tokyo, June 5, 1937).

Japanese architect, teacher and writer. He graduated from Waseda University, Tokyo, in 1960 and obtained his MArch in 1966 and DEng in 1971. He began teaching architecture at Shibaura Institute of Technology in 1962, becoming a lecturer in engineering there in 1966 and subsequently assistant professor (1973) and professor (1976). In 1967 he opened his own office in Tokyo. A founding member of the counter-Metabolist group Architext (1971), Aida was one of the New Wave of avant-garde Japanese architects, expressing his theories in both buildings and writings. His journal articles clearly state his desire to question—if not overthrow—orthodox Modernist ideas of rationality, order and suitability of form to function. He likened architectural design to an intellectual game, and he was one of the first to equate deconstruction with the art of construction, for example in his Artist’s House (1967), Kunitachi, Tokyo, in which all the elements have arbitrary relationships with each other. In other buildings he focused on the creation of architectural experiences that reflect immediate events. In the Nirvana House (...

Article

Ramón Vargas

(b Mexico City, Mar 29, 1915; d Mexico City, May 25, 1959).

Mexican architect, theorist, and writer, of Japanese descent. The son of a Japanese ambassador in Mexico, he studied philosophy, espousing neo-Kantianism and becoming politically a socialist. He became a supporter of Functionalism, with its emphasis on the social applications of architecture, and was a founder, with Enrique Yañez, of the Unión de Arquitectos Socialistas (1938), helping to draw up a socialist theory of architecture. He was one of the most active participants in the Unión and attempted to put his socialist theory into practice on two unexecuted projects in the same year: the building for the Confederación de Trabajadores de México and the Ciudad Obrera de México, both with Enrique Guerrero and Raúl Cacho. Later, when Mexico opted for a developmental policy, Arai became a standard-bearer for nationalism in architecture. He re-evaluated traditional building materials, such as tree trunks, bamboo, palm leaves, and lianas, using them in a plan for a country house that was adapted to the warm, damp climate of the Papaloapan region. The building of the Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, gave him his greatest architectural opportunity when he designed the Frontones (...

Article

Alan Powers

(Irving Jeffrey)

(b Haiphong, French Indo-China [now Vietnam], Oct 16, 1900; d Rodmersham, Kent, Nov 8, 1979).

English illustrator and author. From 1905 he grew up in England, becoming a professional artist in 1926 after part-time study at the Westminster School of Art, London. He became known as an illustrator of genre scenes in a variety of media, often with a comic Victorian flavour. He was best known for illustrated stories, the first of which, Little Tim and the Brave Sea-captain (Oxford, 1936), was followed by numerous imaginative and popular children’s books and by many other illustrated books. Baggage to the Enemy (London, 1941) reflected his appointment in 1940 as an Official War Artist, recording the German invasion of France, and the North African and Italian campaigns. His freelance career continued after the war with a steady production of illustrative and ephemeral work in an instantly recognizable style that relied on ink line and delicate washes.

The Young Ardizzone: An Autobiographical Fragment (London, 1970) Diary of a War Artist...

Article

Toshiaki Nagaya

(b Tokyo, July 7, 1918).

Japanese architect and writer . He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1942 and in 1946–7 he worked in the office of Junzō Sakakura in Tokyo. After receiving a master’s degree from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (1953), he worked in the office of Marcel Breuer in New York (1953–6). In 1956 he returned to Japan and opened his own office in Tokyo. One of Ashihara’s principal concerns was the use of logical structural systems to create flexible, integrated space within buildings. He developed the use of split levels or ‘skip’ floors to combine spaces of various sizes, as in the Chūō Koron building (1956), Tokyo, for which he was awarded the Architectural Institute of Japan prize in 1960. The Sony building (1966), Tokyo, was designed as a cubic spiral of skip floors, creating organic spatial continuity throughout the building with spaces that interrelate with each other and with their environment. A similar concept was used for the Japanese pavilion at Expo ’67 in Montreal, for which he received an award from the Ministry of Education. The continuity and flow of space between interior and exterior, and in the spaces between buildings, were also addressed, for example in the Komazawa Olympic Gymnasium (...

Article

Toshiaki Nagaya

(b Osaka, Sept 20, 1933).

Japanese architect and writer . After graduating in 1957 from the School of Architecture, Osaka University, he worked for three years as a designer for the Ministry of Postal Services in Tokyo and Osaka and then joined Junzō Sakakura Architect & Associates (1960–67). He established his own office in Tokyo in 1967. Azuma’s architecture is characterized by the expression of opposing elements such as individuality and collectivity, enclosure and openness, inside and outside etc. For example, his own house, Tower House (1967), Tokyo, expresses the idea of defensive living in the modern urban setting. Standing on a tiny plot of land in the heart of the city, it has a closed concrete exterior with no windows on the street elevation; this, however, is extended outwards to the city by a slanting parapet and overhanging roof-terrace acting as transitional elements between inside and out. Inside is an ingenious sequence of spaces expressing individuality in an area of traditionally designed houses. A prolific architect, Azuma produced designs with simple and clear-cut images: for instance, in the Seijin Nursery School (...

Article

Tamaki Maeda

[Fu Pao-shih; ming Fu Ruilin]

(b Xinyu, Jiangxi Province, Oct 5, 1904; d Nanjing, Sept 28, 1965).

Chinese painter, seal carver, and art historian. He was one of the foremost painters of guohua (literally “national painting”), who worked in the traditional medium of painting in East Asia, namely, ink and color on paper or silk. His work helped transform literati painting, an age-old artistic pursuit of the elite scholarly class, to an idiom of expression in tune with the aesthetic and social values of modern era.

Born into a humble family, Fu received a modest education in Nanchang. He later studied at the Imperial School of Fine Arts in Japan, and in 1935 became a faculty member at the National Central University in Nanjing. During the Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), Fu fled to the hinterland, where he developed his mature style of painting—semi-abstract landscapes often combined with human elements—and earned considerable repute through exhibitions and publications. After the Communist takeover of China in 1949, Fu produced paintings inspired by poems by Mao Zedong and the Red Army, as well as those emphasizing the beauty of the land in China. He continued to serve in important positions in the art world, most notably, director of the Jiangsu Provincial Chinese Painting Institute....

Article

(b Busan, March 4, 1951; d New York, Nov 5, 1982).

Korean artist and writer active in the USA. Cha was born and raised in Busan, Korea, moving to Hawaii with her parents in the mid-1960s, and then later to San Francisco. Trained in French from early adolescence, she studied comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley, including the works of Stéphane Mallarmé. As part of her theoretical studies, Cha also majored in visual art, first concentrating on ceramics and then moving to performance-based work under the tutelage of James Melchert (b 1930). After graduating in both disciplines in 1973 and 1975 respectively, Cha continued her studies in visual art at the University of California, Berkeley, receiving an MFA in 1978. During this time, she studied abroad in Paris at the Centre d’Etudes Américain du Cinéma in 1976, working with psychoanalytic theorists such as Christian Metz and Raymond Bellour. Works created during this time were based on symbols, the manipulation of language via experimentation with font, scale and the placement of words, as well as cinematic devices such as the fade....

Article

Hiroyuki Suzuki

(b London, Sept 28, 1852; d Tokyo, 1920).

English architect, active in Japan. He was articled to Roger Thomas Smith and then entered the office of William Burges. In 1876 he was awarded the Soane Medallion by the RIBA. In the next year he was appointed the first professor of architecture at the Imperial College of Engineering (now Tokyo University) in Japan, in which role he taught every aspect of architecture and building construction. During this period he was also active as an architect, designing such buildings as the Tokyo Imperial Museum (1877–80; now Tokyo National Museum) and a national banqueting house, Rokumeikan (Deer Cry Pavilion), for the Ministry of Public Works. After leaving his academic and governmental posts, Conder went into private practice and designed many residences, including the Iwasaki residence in Kayacho (1896; see Japan, §III, 5), the Shimazu residence (1915) and the Furukawa residence (1917). His style gradually changed from Gothic to more classical. He is often called the father of Western architecture in Japan, not only on account of his designs but also because of his role in establishing the Western method of architectural higher ...

Article

Yasuyoshi Saito

[Sugita, Hideo]

(b Miyazaki Prefect., April 28, 1911; d Tokyo, March 10, 1960).

Japanese photographer, painter, printmaker and critic. In 1925 he entered the department of yōga (Western-style painting) at the Japanese School of Art in Tokyo. In 1926 he began writing art criticism and in 1927 he left the School, going on in 1930 to study at the School of Oriental Photography, Tokyo. In 1934 he returned to Miyazaki and studied Esperanto, going back two years later to Tokyo; thereafter he rejected his real name of Hideo Sugita in favour of his pseudonym, which was suggested by Saburō Hasegawa. His first exhibition, a one-man show of photograms (Tokyo, 1936), was based on drawings that used photographic paper. His collection of photograms, Nemuri no riyū, was also published in 1936. In 1937 he was a founder-member of the Jiyū Bijutsuka Kyōkai (Independent Art Society) and in Osaka, of the Demokurāto Bijutsuka Kyōkai (Democratic Art Society); from then on he produced etchings, also making lithographs from ...

Article

Elizabeth F. Bennett

[ Yeh Kung-ch’uo ; zi Yufu, Yuhu ; hao Xiaan, Juyuan ]

(b Panyu, Guangdong Province, 1881; d 1968).

Chinese calligrapher, painter, archaeologist, collector, poet and government official. He was born into a wealthy, scholarly family, received a classical education and as a youth of 16 founded a school in Guangzhou (Canton) and a publishing company in Shanghai; at 17 he enrolled in law school at the Imperial University in Beijing. His studies were interrupted two years later by the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, whereupon Ye moved to Wuchang, Hubei Province, and taught history, geography and modern languages for four years. In 1906 he began his official career as a specialist in railways and communications. After 1911, Ye held various positions in the Republican government and was instrumental in the establishment of Jiaotong University in Shanghai; he also served as director of classics for several years at Peking [Beijing] University. After the Sino-Japanese War (1937–45), he gave up his government career and devoted himself to the arts and research, although he continued to serve on educational and cultural committees for the rest of his life. In particular, he became involved in the committee to organize the simplification of Chinese characters. In ...

Article

Mitsuhiko Hasebe

(b Kanagawa, Dec 9, 1894; d Tochigi, Jan 5, 1978).

Japanese potter and museum official. In 1916 he graduated from the department of ceramics at the Tokyo Technical College. He then entered the Kyoto Municipal Institute of Ceramics, where he worked with Kanjirō Kawai, who was his senior there. In 1920 he went to England with Bernard Leach, who had been staying in Japan, and together they set up the Leach Pottery studio in St Ives, Cornwall. Hamada worked there until 1924, when he returned to Japan. He settled in Mashiko in Tochigi Prefecture, where he continued to produce ceramics using reddish brown iron glaze and black-and-white devitrified glazes and clay from the surrounding region. He absorbed traditional technical methods and emulated the organic beauty of various forms of Korean ceramics and of the folk crafts of Japan, and in particular Okinawa. In 1926 with Muneyoshi Yanagi and others he promoted the Mingei (‘folk crafts’) movement. In his later years he established a simple, bold style working with such techniques as salt glazing (e.g. ...

Article

Yasuyoshi Saito

(b Yamaguchi Prefect., Sept 6, 1906; d San Francisco, CA, March 11, 1957).

Japanese painter and writer. In 1929 he graduated from Tokyo Imperial University, where he researched Tōyō Sesshū for his thesis. In 1930 he went to Paris where his work was selected for the Salon d’Automne; on returning two years later to Japan, he exhibited in the 19th Nika Ten (Second Division Society exhibition). In 1948 he exhibited At the Lake (1948; Kobe, Kōnan Senior High Sch.) in the 12th Jiyū Bijutsuka Kyōkai Ten (Society of Independent Artists exhibition) at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. In 1951 he corresponded with Franz Kline, exchanging views on Eastern and Western cultures. He exhibited Rhapsody: At the Fishing Village (frottage on paper mounted on four-fold screen, 1952; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.) at the Nihon Gendai Bijutsu Ten (Exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Art), organized by the Tokyo Reader’s Digest in 1952. A year later he had a one-man exhibition at the New Gallery, New York and was a founder-member of the Nihon Abusutorakuto Āto Kurabu (...

Article

Ho, Tao  

(b Shanghai, July 17, 1936).

Hong Kong architect, designer, teacher and writer of Chinese birth. After leaving China for Hong Kong in 1949 he received his further education in the USA, where he studied art history at Williams College, Williamstown, MA (1956–60), and subsequently architecture at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, under Sigfried Giedion and Josep Lluís Sert. After receiving his diploma in 1964 he briefly joined various American offices, among them Walter Gropius’s TAC (The Architects Collaborative). After returning to Hong Kong, Ho worked for local architects before setting up his own practice, TAOHO Design, in 1968.

Ho worked in many fields of design, such as interior and graphic design, as well as architecture. His exhibition buildings, which formed the major part of his early career, include the Olivetti Pavilion for the C.M.A. exhibition, Hong Kong, in 1968 and the Hong Kong Government Pavilion for the C.M.A. exhibition, Hong Kong, in ...

Article

Katsuyoshi Arai

(b Gifu Prefect., Jan 6, 1895; d 1983).

Japanese architect and writer. He studied ancient Japanese architecture under Chūta Itō at Tokyo Imperial University; he graduated in 1920 and in that year he founded the Japan Secession Group together with other students from the university including Mamoru Yamada. This was the first movement in support of modern architecture in Japan and its members were greatly influenced by Expressionism. In 1922 he obtained a master’s degree with a study of modern Western architecture and from 1923 to 1924 he travelled in Europe. Many of the works he produced after his return, for instance the Kikkawa House (1930) and the Wakasa House (1940), both in Tokyo, are statements of Rationalist architecture: white cubic designs accentuated by the horizontal lines of the eaves, they reflected his position at the leading edge of architectural theory in Japan. During this period he also taught at the Imperial Art Institute in Tokyo (...

Article

Mayching Kao

revised by Fang-mei Chou

[Pu Xinyu; ming Ru; hao Xishan Yishi; studio name Hanyutang]

(b Beijing, Jul 24, 1896; d Taipei, Nov 18, 1963).

Chinese painter, calligrapher, and poet. P’u was a descendant of the Qing imperial line (1644–1911), and his life was adversely affected by the fall of the dynasty—a situation attested by one of his favorite seals, jiuwangsun (former prince). He started practicing calligraphy at the age of 4 and received a classical education at the age of 6. His calligraphy modeled the upright regular script of the Tang-era monk Guifeng’s Stele, and after the age of 17, during a retreat to the Jietai Temple outside Beijing, he befriended an older monk, Monk Yongguang (or Haiyin, 1861–1924), whose calligraphy style P’u appreciated and studied in order to loosen up his own. Eventually, he mastered all kinds of calligraphy styles. Meanwhile, he copied paintings of ancient masters in the family collection, starting with the works of the Four Wangs (early Qing), then works from the 10th-century Dong-Ju tradition, then the 13th-century artists Ma Yuan, Xia Gui, and Liu Songnian, and the 16th-century Wu School masters. His prose style emulated Six Dynasties–era prose, which placed emphasis on parallelism, ornateness, tonal and grammatical balance, rhyme, and abundant literary allusions....

Article

Kazuhiko Namba

(b Pusan, South Korea, April 8, 1920; d Tokyo, Feb 9, 1979).

Japanese architect, teacher and writer. He graduated in architecture from the University of Tokyo (1944) and from 1944 to 1946 he worked in the office of Junzō Sakakura. He was then appointed as a lecturer in architecture at the University of Tokyo, became a professor and continued to teach there until his death. One of Ikebe’s principal interests was industrialization and modular coordination in building, particularly in housing. Influenced by Le Corbusier’s ‘Le Modulor’, he developed a new modular system, ‘GM module’, based on the number two. Another prime interest was housing design; he designed about 100 private houses but no large-scale housing complexes because he believed the Japanese building industry was not yet sufficiently well organized to produce good-quality work at that scale. Examples of his residential designs include a series of experimental minimalist houses (1950) in which he explored the standardization of form and space. He also designed the Kagoshima Space Centre (...

Article

Hiroshi Watanabe

(b Okayama Prefect., April 1, 1944).

Japanese architect and writer. He graduated from Waseda University, Tokyo, in 1966 and completed a graduate course there in 1968, the same year in which he established the office DAM DAN in Tokyo. Through a wide range of activities, of which design was only a part, Ishiyama became a spokesman for the New Wave architects in Japan who turned away from Metabolism and historicism to re-create a sense of place in architecture. An admirer of Buckminster Fuller, Ishiyama also attempted, though not always successfully, to provide general solutions, producing an indeterminate architecture that allowed users maximum freedom within. Inspired by a house in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, constructed in 1962 by Kenji Kawai, an engineer for the early buildings of Kenzō Tange, Ishiyama designed a series of houses of corrugated steel sheets, the best-known of which is the Gen’an (Fantasy Villa) in Aichi Prefecture (1975). These simple houses required only the cheapest of materials and a low standard of construction skills, symbolizing the architect’s commitment to making housing easily available to the public. This was a cause he also supported through writing popular books on architecture and initiating a system called ‘direct dealing’ that recalled, in its intent to bypass the conventional commercial network, the ...

Article

Kenneth Frampton

(b Oita, July 23, 1931).

Japanese architect, teacher and theorist. One of the leading architects of his generation, he became an influential proponent of the avant-garde conceptual approach to architecture that characterized the New Wave in Japan in the 1970s and after (see Japan, §III, 5, (iii), (b)). He studied at the University of Tokyo under Kenzō Tange and after graduating (1954) he worked for Kenzō Tange & Urtec until 1963. From 1960 Isozaki began to develop his own practice, first as an architectural designer, completing the Ōita Medical Center (1960) and Ōita Prefectural Library (1966), and then as a theorist, loosely associated with Japanese Metabolism and creating such ironic projects as his ‘Ruin Future City’ and ‘Clusters in the Air’ (both 1962). His first large public commission was the Ōita branch of the Fukuoka Mutual Bank, completed in 1967. Other important public works followed in relatively rapid succession, and he quickly established his reputation with such buildings as the ...

Article

Elizabeth F. Bennett

[K’ang Yu-wei; zi Nanhai]

(b Nanhai, Guangdong Province, 19 March 1858; d Qingdao, Shandong Province, 31 March 1927). Chinese reformer, scholar and calligrapher. He is best known as the instigator of the Hundred Days Reform, which lasted from 16 June to 21 September 1898, when the Guangxu emperor (reg 1875–1908) accepted Kang’s proposals for far-reaching change. Kang convinced the emperor of the importance of incorporating Western methods into Chinese culture so as to strengthen China against foreign aggression. The profoundly conservative dowager empress Cixi (1835–1908) staged a coup which brought the movement to an end. Kang fled the country and did not return until 1913, after the fall of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911).

Kang’s formal education in calligraphy and epigraphy began under the tutelage of the eminent scholar, Zhu Ciqi (1807–81). Kang later chose a few models and copied them avidly: the Shimen ming, calligraphy carved into a cliff face in Shanxi Province in ...

Article

Alberto González Pozo

(b Harbin, Manchuria [now China], May 3, 1910; d Mexico City, Oct 7, 1996).

Mexican architect, teacher and writer, of Russian descent. In 1926 he settled in Paris, where between 1929 and 1935 he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Georges Gromort. He moved to Mexico in 1942, where he combined editorial work on the periodical Arquitectura México, run by Mario Pani, with his first commissions in Mexico City, among them the ‘Albert Einstein’ Secondary School (1949), with walls of exposed brick. Other examples of his educational architecture, notable for their formal austerity, include the Liceo Franco-Mexicano (1950) and the Facultad de Economía (1953; with J. Hanhausen), Ciudad Universitaria, both in Mexico City. From the 1950s to the 1970s Kaspé continued building in Mexico City; outstanding examples of his work are the Centro Deportivo Israelita (1950–62), Periférico Norte; the Laboratorios Roussel (1961), Avenida Universidad y M. A. Quevedo; and the offices of Supermercados S. A. (...