Exhibition date: February 21 – March 20, 2015
**Closing Ceremony: Friday March 20, 2015 @ 19:30
Inaugural exhibition opening: Friday February 20, 2015 @ 19:00
Nigel Dembicki, Genta Ishimura, Ian Lowrie
Curated by Sung Pil Yoon
SPARE ROOM presents an environment based loosely on the aesthetics of Japanese Rock Garden design in collaboration with Nigel Dembicki, Genta Ishimura and Ian Lowrie. Titled 86, the space will be transformed into an archive of soil samples, a glimpse into multi-dimensional diorama inserts within a floating wall (a “reveal”), and deliberate assignments of rocks in odd-number based systems.
The aesthetic of the rock garden dates back to the 1400s as garden design became a carefully-constructed environment based on the philosophy of wabi-sabi; the understanding of the world as non-absolute and imperfect design protocol.
Physical space is disseminated through this philosophy by way of juxtaposing the carefully aligned spaces to question the placeless-ness of these raw and imperfect materials contained within a sterile and neutral environment. Devoid of any real sunlight nor the square footage to adequately portray a “real” garden, the place and context is subverted to fit a restrictive criteria of the white walls as we observe the adaptive behaviours being exchanged between the two infrastructures.
Amongst this design principle, situated is the posture of social identity based on the environment of Vancouver as a city and lifestyle in a geographical and social context. Subtle hints of “Vancouver-isms” can be excavated from the dioramas which paints a typical day in leisure. Various activities of Vancouver-centric oddities have been reified as a notable event to behold, ranging from paddle-board yoga, drinking fresh tap water, raccoons, Vancouver Specials, Skytrains and hiking in the not-too-distant forest to find a baby seal frolicking in the waters. As this particular lifestyle of leisure begins transforming into artificially constructed images of a very specific city, the rock garden and the dioramas depicting “everyday life” is a mock-up; a crude simulation of its former self designed to have a place within the confines of the walls for the viewer to gaze as an all-for-one, one-for-all tourism. The segregated spaces within the dioramas are mere samples of differing environments allowing for swift, efficient references to objects that can be experienced just beyond these white walls in the first place.
Dembicki, Ishimura and Lowrie present a synthesis of space-efficient hybridity in the nature, composition and architecture of its urbanized setting through the lens of Vancouver and its noted imagery of an exaggerated West-Coast life.
Dembicki, Ishimura and Lowrie are part of an architectural design collective studioCAMP
Image courtesy of Axiomathes (2005) / GERT J. VAN TONDER and MICHAEL J. LYONS