ROCKLAND — Rockland-based architectural photographer Dave Clough announced that he will display his work in Venice this fall at an exhibit about renowned German architect Bruno Taut’s Kyu Hyuga Bettei, a villa in Atami, Japan.
Clough’s images will be shown alongside new, complete drawings of Taut’s design for the villa by Italian architect Marco Capitanio. The show, “West of Japan/East of Europe,” will run Sept. 9-22 in the Gino Valle exhibition space at University of Venice, coinciding with the city’s 2016 Architecture Biennale.
The exhibit, curated by Capitanio, is devoted to the only existing project Bruno Taut realized during his three-year stay in Japan in the 1930s. The villa embodies Taut’s deeply personal reflection on Japanese architecture, mediated through his European sensibility. By juxtaposing drawings and pictures, the exhibition will help visitors distinguish between the project’s form and proportion and its materials, textures and colors.
The Taut exhibition is being organized by co+labo Radović at Keio University and the Formwork cultural association. Professor Darko Radović and professor Marko Pogacnik from the Formwork / IUAV have been instrumental in mounting the exhibition.
As the exhibit opens, Clough will be one of the presenters at an international symposium about Kyu Hyuga Bettei and other projects that relate to designing for and within a foreign culture. The symposium will include a video interview with Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who credits Bruno Taut as a major inspiration and influence in his work.
Capitanio, a doctoral candidate at Keio University in Tokyo, and Clough, who lived in Japan for 10 years, share a fascination with the country and its traditional architecture. But they only connected with each other recently.
In 2010, Clough visited the Former Kusuo Yasuda Residence and got permission from the Japan National Trust to photograph it. Clough consequently got permission from the city of Atami to photograph the Kyu Hyuga Bettei in 2011. Capitanio came across the photos on Clough’s blog a few months ago and invited him to participate in the exhibition.
“When I stepped into the Kyu Hyuga Bettei for the first time I felt instantly transported to another place and time,” Clough said. “I was first struck, as I always am in historic Japanese structures, by the woodwork — a well-worn bridge to the past. I felt in awe at this unique opportunity to photograph a significant architectural space in Japan that has subsequently inspired many.”
“This project has developed mainly as a personal interest,” said Capitanio. “I am fascinated by Kyu Hyuga Bettei, which does not fit in with either mainstream European Modernism or traditional Japanese architecture in a strict sense. Taut’s original drawings have never been published, so I decided to redraw them and study the plans in depth. Dave’s photos are the only professional, careful photos of the villa that I have come across. The lighting conditions, shading and subtle color and material of the project are not easy to render, but he has captured the villa’s atmosphere and beauty.”
About Dave Clough
Dave Clough provided all the color photography for “Homes Down East: Classic Maine Coastal Cottages,” released by Tilbury House Publishers in 2014. He is taking photographs for a second Tilbury House publication, a how-to book by Scott T. Hanson on rehabilitating historic homes to function in the 21st century while retaining their historic character. Clough also photographs for Mainebiz publications and serves commercial clients including architects, designers, builders, hotels, restaurants, real estate firms and homeowners.
About Marco Capitanio
Marco Capitanio studied architecture at the Mendrisio Academy of Architecture (CH) and urban design at TU Berlin and at Tongji University Shanghai, where he completed his master’s degree in 2012. His professional experiences span from the architectural scale (construction drawings and detailed design in Switzerland and Japan) to the urban dimension (large developments and master plans in China). He is a research assistant and doctoral candidate at Keio University. His work focuses on liveability of the built environment, especially at the neighborhood scale, a topic he has investigated in Europe and China.