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Fuorisalone 2024: Kengo Kuma presents “Kodama,The Spirit of the Forest” at the Albed showroom

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During Design Week 2024, from 15 to 21 April, Kodama, the prestigious sculpture by Kengo Kuma, and the photographic journey illustrating the associated research process will be exhibited at Albed’s Milan showroom.

Kengo Kuma, archistar and founder of the KKAA studio, lands at Fuorisalone 2024 with an exhibition that celebrates Japanese culture through a sophisticated blend of design and art. The exhibition’s centerpiece will be a monumental larch sculpture called Kodama, named after the spirit that inhabits the forests in the Japanese tradition. Kuma first conceived the sculpture in 2018 to blend into the park of Villa Strobele, part of Arte Sella. In this place, architecture, art, and creativity merge with the panorama of the Alps of Trentino.

Ph Giacomo Bianchi – Copyright Arte Sella

The story of Kodama

The imposing, spherical sculpture, with a diameter of nearly 6 meters, appears at first glance as an intricate latticework of geometric shapes, but upon closer inspection, it is revealed that they are all the same. Its inspiration comes from the Chidori, a Japanese puzzle toy that Kuma brought to the realm of construction. The sculpture consists of 335 solid wood units that are grouped into 154 types of elements, all united to form a spherical volume. This sculpture creates a space where one can find oneself and connect with nature.

Since its first creation for Arte Sella, the Kodama sculpture has been repurposed in various ways. It was recreated on the same scale in Taiwan, in an allegorical “forest of skyscrapers,” then at Palazzo Franchetti in 1:5 scale in oak, on the occasion of the solo exhibition Onomatopeia Architecture for the Biennale 2023, and then at MAO Museo d’Arte Orientale di Torino, where it was suspended from the ceiling and lit from within. Currently, a smaller version of Kodama, also made of oak, is on display at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn.

  Ph Giacomo Bianchi – Copyright Arte Sella

The exhibition during Design Week

The Design Week exhibition showcases some stages of the research project, study, modeling, and construction of this magnificent work. The exhibition presents a photographic, video, and interactive pathway aimed at communicating the engineering complexity and elegant language of the project. In an ideal transition from the realm of art to the sphere of production, there is also an application in the furniture industry. This is exemplified by two joinery tables on display, specially produced by D3Wood for the occasion. These tables feature Kodama’s constituent knot that supports two crystal tops.

“Kodama, The Spirit of the Forest” will be visitable with free access at the Albed showroom in Via Gonzaga 7 (M1 Duomo, M3 Missori), April 15-20, from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The exhibition, curated by Marco Imperadori (DABC Department), is sponsored by Politecnico di Milano and Artesella, produced in collaboration with SEKISUI HOUSE – KUMA LAB at The University of Tokyo, MAO Museo d’Arte Orientale di Torino, ACP – Art Capital Partners and Bundeskunsthalle. Technical partnership D3Wood and SCM.

The talk with Kengo Kuma at the Albed Showroom

On Sunday 14 April at 4.30 pm, on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition “Kodama. Lo Spirito della Foresta” the Albed showroom will also host a talk moderated by Marco Imperadori (DABC – Politecnico di Milano), curator of the event. Kengo Kuma and Taichi Kuma, president of KKAA – Kengo Kuma & Associates, Domitilla Dardi, historian and design curator, Rosa Zambelli, Associazione Arte Sella and Davide Quadrio, MAO Museo d’Arte Orientale di Torino will be present.

15 to 21 April 2024 | 10:00 – 18:00

in Milan at the ALBED showroom
via Gonzaga 7 (M1 Duomo, M3 Missori)

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