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Shusaku Arakawa: Google Doodle celebrates Japanese-American conceptual artist and architect’s 85th birthday



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Google Doodle celebrates the 85th birthday of Japanese conceptual artist and architect Shusaku Arakawa (荒川 修作), who with his wife, American artist Madeline Gins, was prestigious for exploring architecture’s influence on human health, on July 6, 2021.

Who was Shusaku Arakawa (荒川 修作)?

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Shusaku Arakawa (荒川 修作)

Shusaku Arakawa (荒川 修作) was born on July 6, 1936 in Nagoya, Japan. He had a personal and artistic partnership with the writer and artist Madeline Gins that crossed over 4 decades.

Later in his life, Arakawa and Gins were all the more ordinarily connected with architectural projects pointed toward the life span of human life expectancy.

Shusaku Arakawa entered the University of Tokyo in 1954, where he learned mathematics and medicine; he proceeded with his studies at Musashino Art University. Accepting the utilization of discovered objects and everyday material, his initial prints were impacted by the abstraction of the European Dada movement.

Shusaku Arakawa (荒川 修作) made his introduction at the 1958 Yomiuri Indépendant show in Tokyo, where he introduced an installation of coffin-like wooden boxes. Watchers, who were invited to glimpse inside, found congealed lumps of cement with patches of fur and hair embedded in them, an oddly contorted surface that was suggestive of the melted flesh of Japan’s atom bomb victims.

In 1960, Shusaku Arakawa joined the Neo-Dada Organizers group, comprised of similar artists like Masunobu Yoshimura, Ushio Shinohara and Genpei Akasegawa, who accepted Western art and accepted that arts of the human experience would ultimately become more globalized. With his companions, Arakawa made junk and found objects, and was active in fighting the 1960 renewal of the US-Japan Security Treaty.

Shusaku Arakawa (荒川 修作) moved to New York in 1961 and selected two years after the fact at the Brooklyn Museum Art School. All through the 1960s, Arakawa kept on working on pencil-on-canvas and ink-on-photo works, which joined words, scientific diagrams and realist drawings of found objects. Addressing Japan, he displayed a portion of these works at the 1970 Venice Biennale.

Mid 1963, Shusaku Arakawa teamed up with other fellow artists, poet, and architect Madeline Gins, on research project. They were the co-founders of Reversible destiny foundation. The association was planned to utilize architecture for extending human lifespan.

Starting in 1963, Shusaku Arakawa teamed up with fellow artist, architect, and poet Madeline Gins on the research project The Mechanism of Meaning, which was finished by 1973. This research project and its subsequent architectural projects – both built and unbuilt ones – formed the basis of the 1997 Arakawa + Gins: Reversible Destiny exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum SoHo (the going with book of a similar title stays the most comprehensive collection of their work, and it consolidates the entire of the Arakawa/Gins book, The Mechanism of Meaning).

Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins married in 1965, and the couple started to investigate the capability of art, design and architecture to “reverse the downhill course of human life,” a pursuit they named “reversible destiny.”

In 1987, they established the Architectural Body Research Foundation, which arranges interdisciplinary collaborations with leading biologists, neuroscientists, quantum physicists and medical doctors.

The couple expounded on their theories in a few books, including The Mechanism of Meaning (1971), Reversible Destiny: We Have Decided Not to Die (1997) and Making Dying Illegal (2006). They likewise held solo exhibitions at the Nationalgalerie, Berlin, in 1978; the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, in 1994; and Guggenheim Museum Soho, New York, in 1997.

Their latest project, the Bioscleave House (Lifespan-Extending Villa), worked in East Hampton, New York, from 2000 to 2008, highlights windows set at inconvenient heights, oddly angled light switches and a steeply sloped floor leading into the kitchen. By introducing steady physical challenges, the building’s design was planned to keep its inhabitants careful and in a “tentative” relationship with their surroundings, in this manner protecting their youth.

Shusaku Arakawa (荒川 修作) had a few exhibition of his great work in numerous parts of the world. A few of these exhibitions were in London, Amsterdam, New York, and Paris.

Shusaku Arakawa had additionally done the poetry. Madeline Gins was his wife who assisted him with designing public spaces and houses, which were pointed in assisting individuals with preventing from ageing.

In acknowledgment of his achievements, Shusaku Arakawa accepted Japan’s Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon in 2003. He suffered a difficulty in 2008, notwithstanding, having invested in Bernard Madoff’s multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, which constrained him and Gins to close their office. At the time of his death, his initial works were on display in a solo show at the National Museum of Art, Osaka—a convenient yet miserable chance to harp on the legacy of a pioneer and visionary.

Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins are co-founders of the Reversible Destiny Foundation, an association committed to the utilization of architecture to expand the human life expectancy. They have co-authored books, including Reversible Destiny, which is the catalogue of their Guggenheim exhibition, Architectural Body (University of Alabama Press, 2002) and Making Dying Illegal (New York: Roof Books, 2006), and have designed and assembled homes and parks, including the Reversible Destiny Lofts, Bioscleave House, and the Site of Reversible Destiny – Yoro.

Shusaku Arakawa (荒川 修作) died on March 18, 2010, afer a week of hospitalization.

Since the 1950s, Shusaku Arakawa’s artworks have been shown in more than 400 exhibitions in Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia.

Shusaku Arakawa (荒川 修作) served as a representative of Japan in the XXXV Venice Biennale (1970), and was a member in the German-based contemporary art exhibitions Documenta IV (1968) and Documenta VI (1977).

Also, Shusaku Arakawa was the recipient of various honors and awards.

Notwithstanding private and corporate collections, a large number of Shusaku Arakawa’s artworks are permanently housed in esteemed museums all throughout the world, including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Center Pompidou, Paris; Sezon Museum of Modern Art, Karuizawa, Japan.

On July 6, 2021, Google featured Doodle on its homepage for celebrating Shusaku Arakawa’s 85th Birthday.

Global exhibitions of the masterwork funded the couple’s next grand undertaking: extending life expectancy by fostering a novel relationship with the assembled world called “procedural architecture.” They conjectured that engaging inhabitants with challenging interior designs, for example, steep and uneven floor plans, would boost immunity and fight aging by advancing a functioning and insightful relationship with one’s environmental factors. Their first residential works of procedural architecture can be found at Reversible Destiny Lofts, a complex in Tokyo and the motivation for the present Google Doodle artwork.

Today, a few installations of their eccentric architecture stay open to the public, for example, the Reversible Destiny Lofts. This renown project contains a brightly colored residential complex in Tokyo that served as the couple’s first work of procedural architecture, which they devoted to Helen Keller.

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