SCAF 2017 [Culture+Ideas]: Shigeru Ban 2017
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Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation
Shigeru Ban 2017

Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney

25 March - 01 July 2017

Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF) is dedicated to providing an innovative forum for contemporary art and presenting work by internationally renowned visual practitioners primarily from Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. The Nelson Meers Foundation is privileged to be supporting SCAF's Culture and Ideas program.

Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation will present Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban's first Australian project. Shigeru Ban's double site SCAF Projects 34 & 35, in the courtyard garden and gallery space will conclude the Foundation's decade-long programme. The Foundation will then evolve into a centre for the exchange of ideas on contemporary culture.

2017 begins SCAF's exhibition will shine a spotlight on Japanese architect Ban's pioneering and resourceful designs and importantly his dedication to humanitarian efforts around the world.

For the first time SCAF's interior and exterior spaces will feature the work of a single practitioner. The Courtyard Garden installation will feature two of Shigeru Ban's signature disaster relief shelters; one of his first from Kobe (1995) positioned in comparison to his latest disaster relief design for the Ecuador earthquake (2016).

The interior gallery presentation will highlight key 'stepping stones' from Shigeru Ban Architects' 2000 Japan Pavilion in Hannover, Germany, to the celebrated 2013 Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand. An immersive scaled version of the Cardboard Cathedral will feature as centerpiece, complemented by a four-metre scale model of Ban's Japan Pavilion, and selected components of his work.

Temporary architecture, in disaster zones, is Ban's calling card. For over 20 years, the 2014 winner of the Pritzker Prize, architecture's Nobel, has best been known for his humanitarian work. From Rwanda to Japan to Nepal he has turned cheap, locally sourced materials—sometimes even debris—into disaster-relief housing that "house both the body and spirit".

Ban's simple and dignified architectural works have provided relief to victims of mass displacement, tsunamis, earthquakes, and mega disasters, both natural and manmade. His long history of humanitarian design started with his UN consultancy work in the 1995 Rwanda conflict, where he first proposed shelters made from paper tubes. Over time, he carried his paper tube concept to other disaster relief projects from a "Paper Log House" designed for the community in Kobe to temporary housing for the victims of the 2011 Onagawa earthquake. His creative use of common and often unconventional materials in disaster relief projects expanded to include bamboo, fabric, paper, and recycled composites.

Shigeru Ban comments: "Architects mostly work for privileged people, people who have money and power. Power and money are invisible, so people hire us to visualise their power and money by making monumental architecture. I love to make monuments, too, but I thought perhaps we can use our experience and knowledge more for the general public, even for those who have lost their houses in natural disasters."

Aside from shelter housing, Shigeru Ban Architects have created major cultural institutions including Centre Pompidou-Metz, France and soon-to-be-opened Mount Fuji World Heritage Centre, Japan; the Cité musicale de l'Île Seguin, Paris, France; and various other commercial projects, academic buildings (Seikei University Library, Japan), private residences and exhibitions.

For further information regarding the above exhibition, click here

To view earlier SCAF Culture+Ideas Projects or Exhibitions, click here