the Five Senses


"Gravitation Quality" inside view

Sculpture is normally supposed to be a tactile rather than a visual medium. The works of Takashi Soga deliberately employing simple forms and dense materials have a scale that dwarfs the human body, stimulating not only the senses of sight and touch but also generating a whole-body experiencing them directly. They may be called "Body-Experience Art".

The particular work entitled "Gravitation Quality - Vessel - House" is as big as a real prefabricated house. The entire weight of this house is supported by a lone central column.

The column divides into two horizontal branches which balance the structure. Each branch supports a weight made of resin which together serve to keep the house balanced. In the exhibition hall the work sways gently from vibrations in the air, thus creating a growing tension. Although the house is balanced some 8 inches (20 cm) above the floor, you would probably fail to notice this at first, being overwhelmed by the powerful presence of the work. On entering the house and experiencing the vibrations you will be shocked, embarrassed and made to feel insecure and dizzy. You are forced to ask "What is moving? Is it I, the house or the museum itself?" Your entire body and array of senses are stimulated at a far deeper level than by mere impartial observation of the swaying from outside.

We human beings have a weak conception of the space which surrounds us. The established function of a house is to shield us from outside elements and protect us from our enemies. In this sense the space inside the house must not be moved.

Essentially what Soga does is to create visual representations of gravity, which although invisible is demonstrably tangible, and thereby he overthrows our preconceptions. His works attempt to change the quality of space and connect the effect of gravity with balance and the sensation of movement. Moreover they change the way people view both their own body and the world around them.

Kazuko Aono