Modernism + Film: Kochuu

Modernism + Film: Kochuu



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The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art screens the film, Kochuu, (trailer, 53 minutes) directed and produced by Jesper Wachtmeister August 18 during the museum's Modernism + Film program.

"A small film with big thoughts... a dynamic dialogue in design spanning the past, present and future... Wachtmeister's film footage of architects describing their design ideas within their realized buildings is a veritable historical document." - Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

Kochuu, a documentary based on Modern Japanese architecture, the influence of Japanese traditions, and the impact the combination of the two had on the Nordic building traditions. Translating to "In the Jar", Kochuu represents the Japanese tradition of constructing small, enclosed physical spaces by creating the impression of a separate universe. This is seen through key components of traditional Japanese architecture; such as reducing the distinction between outdoors and indoors, building with wooden posts and beams rather than with walls, and by applying modular construction techniques. Displaying images of astounding structures, such as the Imperial Katsura Palace, the Todai-Ji Temple and the Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum, this film highlights the attempts of contemporary Japanese architectures striving to unite a modern approach with old philosophies.

The conflicts that arise between modern and old philosophies is conversed through interviews by Japan's leading contemporary architects; Tadao Ando, Kisho Kurokawa, Toyo Ito and Kazuo Shinohara and Scandinavian architects Sverre Fehn, Kristian Gullichsen and Juhani Pallasmaa.

A symbiotic relationship with water, light and nature is expressed through the aesthetics of Japanese architect, wherever it may be, signify spiritual qualities that enrich human life. With alluring visuals and stunning details, the documentary allows the viewer to explore breath-taking images of nature, concrete, gardens and high-tech spaces.


Prior to the screening, opening remarks will be made by Adam Vosburgh. Adam is studying Japanese and architecture at UNC Charlotte. He has just returned from a year abroad in Tokyo, where he studied Japanese at Sophia University and interned at Junya Ishigami + Associates and Integrated Design Associates. He will complete his degrees at UNC Charlotte in December and will return to Japan to assume a staff position at SANAA (founded by Pritzker Prize winners Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa) next year. 


An event reception with a cash-only bar and free light bites begins at 6 p.m. in the Bechtler lobby followed by the presentation and film screening at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.


Tickets are $10 for the public, $8 for museum members and $5 for students. (Student tickets may be purchased at the door or by phone. Must present student ID to claim.) Buy tickets online, tickets may also be purchased by phone at 704.353.9200 or at the admissions desk.

Image: Water Temple by Tadao Ando (angle). Photo Courtesy of Icarus Films

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ex © 2018 Bechtler Museum of Modern Art All images and content copyright. All rights reserved. Credits: Design: MODE. Artwork Photography: JoAnn Sieburg-Baker, David Ramsey General Photography: Eric Bahrs, Mitchell Kearney, Gary O'Brien, Nancy Pierce, Maxim Vakhovskiy Copywriting: Pam Davis Charlotte Skyline Photo: courtesy of Visit Charlotte School of Paris: John Boyer (Copy), MODE (Design)
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