A PHOTOGRAPHIC ABSTRACTION OF ANDO'S ARCHITECTURE
The kind of architecture that adopts as precise an approach to dimensions, materials, lines, perspectives, light and shadow as does that of Tadao Ando is often, in fact, exaggerated by architecture photography. With their wide-angle cameras, photographers want to cram in as much as possible, to depict the entire monumental reach of a building. In the process, the dramatic effects created by the architecture take center stage. By contrast, my interest in Ando’s architecture has taken a different angle. It is my intention to specifically point out how his materials interact with their surroundings, how well even the smaller elements of his architecture work and how successfully they are integrated into nature. Perhaps it is the maths, perhaps the graphics behind Ando’s work that interests me particularly, a measured quality in his surfaces, in his materials, in every detail.
I want my photographs to focus on aspects that have received little attention to date, namely those rarely seen backs views, the greenery that is an integral part, how the perfect exposed concrete ages, the patinas on the materials, details such as walls and staircases and the natural way the architecture relates to its surroundings. It is not my desire to show this architecture in bright sunlight, the kind that casts hard shadows, but instead under a stark, cloudy sky, the kind that many architecture photographers would not dream of using but that bathes everything in soft, candid light. This results in a photographic abstraction of Ando’s architecture, one that shows its quality and its stringency in a totally new manner.
Commissioned by Noe & Associates for 152 Elizabeth, Tadao Ando