suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
fumio HIRAKAWA + marina TOPUNOVA: Hope Tree installation was envisioned as a spatial condition that attended to question our surrounding as we know it and hoping to generate a discussion and understanding amongst the visitors about the place of our everyday life, our environment.
Lately, we are bombarded with products that try to deal with the consequences of environmental damages throughout the world, but occasionally we overlook the roots of these occurring problems by not fully understanding our environment.
A tree was chosen as a departing point as we universally can identify with. Throughout ages tree has been the most primitive form of a shelter, garden, and, most importantly, our companion. With human innovation and intervention, a tree has been contributing to our lives taking a different form, from a simple paper sheet to a complex house. Every fruit, flower and leaf that bears from tree symbolizes a change and hope for tomorrow. But, even a strong standing tree is frail. If not taken care properly we may eventually cease its presence. Hope Tree installation invites viewers to experience their surrounding environment anew through a single tree and a space that bears from it.
The toroidal surface was composed of 670 self-supporting watercolor paper panels within a 20 feet shipping container. Further rigidity of each panel was reinforced with edges of cardboard to create a box form. The symmetry of form allowed for minimized typological variation of the box panel easing the manufacturing process.
The box panels were then assembled in a spatial arch, inspired by the traditional masonry arch construction. This allowed the elliptical ceiling arch load to be equally distributed between the central column and the perimeter wall.
Leaf-like cutouts were strategically sized and deformed accordingly to the geometry of the box panels. The openings were backed with a tracing paper, which performed as a diffusing surface for the LED string lighting beyond.
Furthermore, the property of watercolor paper provided a dynamic response to the environmental factor within and outside of the container. The humidity and condensation created within the container during the constantly changing weather conditions during the duration of the exhibition allowed the leaf-like cutout to warp out and expose the diffused lighting each day.
sP: what or who influenced this project?
fH+mT: Our surrounding environment and various rock gardens in Kyoto.
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
fH+mT: KCRW and spoken words of Barack Obama and Henry Rollins.
sP: whose work is currently on your radar?
fH+mT: Hussein Chalayan, Tokujin Yoshioka.