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Kathryn O'Rourke and 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

Susan Pares

[Pak Sŏ-bo]

(b1931).

Korean painter and teacher. He graduated in 1954 from the Fine Arts College, Hong’ik University, Seoul, and exhibited in Korea, East and South-east Asia, the USA, Europe and elsewhere. He is regarded as a leader of Korean modernism. Park has used a variety of techniques. Typical of his Art informel stage is Painting No. 1 (1957; oil on canvas, priv. col., see Young-na Kim, p. 177), where paint was splashed on to the canvas. In his ‘white’ paintings, thin layers of gesso were applied over a period of time, then graphite and gesso were applied alternately to build up a surface. In 1989 he began to use tak (mulberry bark paper), laid in three layers on canvas, sealed with gesso and overlaid with acrylic paint. Further sheets of paper, soaked in acrylic medium or Korean ink, were then laid, and the surface was manipulated with the fingers or an implement. In working or marking the surface Park’s intention was to help the medium to express itself by adding nothing more than a sign of his involvement, which he termed his ‘écriture’; one of his works is titled simply ...

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

Susan Pares

[Lee Kang-so; Yi Kang-so]

(b Taegu, 1943).

Korean artist. He studied at Seoul National University and Kyemyong University, Taegu, and has exhibited in Korea, Japan, the USA, Europe and elsewhere. A leading modernist and active member of the Korean Avant Garde Association, Lee played a decisive role in the first Korean contemporary art festival in 1974. He has experimented with many techniques, from painting, drawings, prints and photography to installation, performance and video art. In the mid-1980s he began to concentrate on paintings in oil, employing subdued blues and greys. On such surfaces he placed images of ducks, deer and boats, executed in brushstrokes that in their calligraphic quality acknowledge Korean traditions. His subjects are seen as symbolic of shamanist images (see Korea, §I, 5) and reveal a perceptive awareness of nature. His use of after-images, especially of ducks, hints at the shifting movement of the birds.

Flow from the Far East (exh. cat., ed. ...

Article

Kenneth Frampton

(b Niigata, May 14, 1905; d Tokyo, June 26, 1986).

Japanese architect. One of the masters of Japanese architecture in the period immediately after World War II, he was particularly known for his attempt to evolve an approach that synthesized Modernism and Japanese tradition. He studied architecture at the University of Tokyo, graduating in 1928. He then served a lengthy apprenticeship, first in the studio of Le Corbusier in Paris (1928–30) and then in the office of Antonin Raymond in Tokyo (1930–35). The extent to which Maekawa was influenced by Le Corbusier is apparent in his competition entry (1931; unexecuted) for the National Museum in Tokyo. Maekawa came to the fore with his designs for a series of prefabricated timber houses that were mass-produced between 1945 and 1950 in an effort to deal with the massive housing shortages that prevailed in Japan after the war. He came to maturity with his first major work in reinforced-concrete construction, the Nihon Sōgō Bank, built in downtown Tokyo in ...

Article

Hiroshi Watanabe

[Masahirō]

(b Tokyo, June 22, 1941).

Japanese architect. He graduated from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music in 1965 and in that year entered the office of Arata Isozaki. He left to open his own office in Tokyo in 1969. Critical of modernist architecture, Rokkaku took a more intuitive approach to design, drawing inspiration from pre-modern rituals such as geomancy. The Zasso Forest Kindergarten (1977) in Kyoto Prefecture incorporated wind-driven sculpture by Susumu Shingu on top of each tower, creating what Rokkaku called ‘wind-games architecture’. This reflected the desire of the Basara group, of which he was a member, to use playfulness and other forms of self-expression in architecture. Other works include the Konkōkyō Hall of Worship (1980) in Fukuoka City, a cannon-shaped building for a popular religion that incorporates the symbolic geometry of the circle, and the large, ambitious Metropolitan Martial Arts Hall in Tokyo (1989).

C. Fawcett...

Article

Eizo Inagaki

(b 1894; d 1966).

Japanese architect . After graduating in engineering from the School of Architecture at Tokyo Imperial University in 1920, he founded the Japan Secession Group (Bunriha Kenchikukai) with other students from the university, including Sutemi Horiguchi. This was the first movement in support of modern architecture in Japan, and its members were greatly influenced by the German Expressionists, the Vienna Secession and Art Nouveau. In 1920 they staged an exhibition of drawings and models, and, although they had little opportunity to demonstrate their ideas in actual projects, the group was important in introducing Expressionism to Japan. Yamada then became an engineer in the Communications Ministry (1920–45), and his early work for the Ministry clearly reveals an Expressionist style. For example the Central Telegraph Building (1925; destr.), Tokyo, which incorporated the parabolic curve as a motif, was the first building in Japan to break away from a strictly formalist style. In later works the Expressionist influence was replaced by a simpler modernism. The Communications Ministry Hospital (...

Article

(b Tokyo, Dec 19, 1894; d Tokyo, March 24, 1974).

Japanese architect . He graduated from Tokyo Art School in 1923 and travelled to Europe in 1925. Recognizing elements of Modernism in sukiya (tea house), a traditional style of Japanese residential architecture ( see Japan §XV 2. ), Yoshida formulated a modern version of the style with a distinctive freedom of planning and individuality that broke away from the traditional modular structural system. By enclosing structural members within the wall using the ōkabe (large wall) system, he was able to ignore the structural grid and place columns where he wished. Other technical innovations included the replacement of corner columns with windows and the introduction of special lighting effects and a sense of the opulence found in kabuki and other traditional Japanese stage design. The modern Sukiya style, for which Yoshida established his reputation in the 1930s, was one of the most successful attempts to reconcile tradition and modernity in Japanese architecture in the 20th century....