Ma: Space-Time in Japan
December 2016 - October 2018
Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft.
Van Dam, R.M. (2021) Grasping Ma. In: A. Radman and S. Kousoulas (Eds.) Architectures of Life and Death. Rowman and Littlefield International.
Ivan Čuić, Renske Maria van Dam, Flora van Dullemen, Cocky Eek, Zoë d’Hont, Þórir Höskuldsson, Anni Nöps, Sébastien Robert, Lianne van Roekel, Daan Loor and Victor Ynzonides
On October 11th 1978 the exhibition Ma: Space-Time in Japan opened its doors in Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. In this exhibition, Japanese architect Arata Isozaki introduces the concept of ma to the European-American context by presenting nine spatial installations in which ma shows up in different modalities of Japanese thought and action.
On October 11th 2018, exactly 40 years after the opening of the exhibition in Paris, students of the ArtScience Interfaculty from the Hague presented an iteration on this exhibition at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
of TU Delft. Together we explored the contemporary potentials of ma.
To bring ma alive, the catalogue of
Ma: SpaceTime in Japan – as initially presented in Paris – was studied by means of situated experimentation. Rather than making an exact replica of the exhibition, the works presented in the catalogue triggered a new event which continued the creative process in new iterations. Alternative to architectural design understood as ‘action at a distance’ in the new iteration, Moments
of Ma, architectural design equals ‘action on action’. When the performer opens the curtain a stream of light fills the room with reflections, a puppeteer appears, and copper rods create spatial constellations.