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Tadao Ando's exhibition extended until October at Museum SAN

By Park Yuna

Published : July 21, 2023 - 16:30

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Japanese architect Tadao Ando stands in Japanese architect Tadao Ando stands in "The Space of Light" meditation hall at the Museum SAN. (Courtesy of the museum)

Museum SAN, nestled in the mountains of Wonju, Gangwon Province, unveiled its new meditation space Tuesday, designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. “The Space of Light” is the second meditation space at the museum that presents the architect’s philosophy.

The 22,000-square-meter museum was founded in 2013 by the Hansol Cultural Foundation. The museum was designed by Ando at the request of the late Lee In-hee, who was then advisor to Hansol Group and sister of late Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee.

“I was doubtful if the space was suitable for a museum because it was situated in the middle of the mountains, quite far from the capital city Seoul. I was skeptical about Lee's request,” Tadao said on July 15 at a lecture held under the theme “Make Possibilities on Your Own (translated)” at Ewha Womans University.

“Lee persuaded me that if the museum is the only one of its kind, people will visit the it in the end. She was right -- now the museum is visited by 200,000 people every year,” the architect said.

After 10 years, the museum has additionally built a second meditation hall, “The Space of Light,” following the installation of the meditation hall in 2018. The new space features light and a minimalist design with exposed concrete walls in the same style the architect has pursued throughout his career.

The museum has announced it will extend the exhibition “Tadao Ando -- Youth” into October due to its popularity. The exhibition has been visited by more than 100,000 people over the past three months. The exhibition kicked off in April in commemoration of the museum’s 10th anniversary and is the architect's first solo exhibition at the museum.

The first part of the exhibition sheds light on the architect’s career, which started in the 1970s. His sketches are also on display next to information on each of his designs. The exhibition shows the development of the largely self-taught architect, starting with drawings from his early years that he created as he traveled around the world.

The highlight of the show is the Naoshima Project, which introduces Ando's eight buildings on a small island in Japan’s Kagawa prefecture.

The museum also runs a space dedicated to American artist James Turrell, known for exploring the concept of light through his works.