Takahiro Iwasaki / Japan b.1975 / Reflection Model (Perfect Bliss) 2010–12 / Japanese Cypress / 150 x 280 x 194cm / Purchased 2013 with funds from Michael Sidney Myer through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Takahiro Iwasaki

Takahiro Iwasaki
Reflection Model (Perfect Bliss) 2010–2012

Not Currently on Display

Takahiro Iwasaki’s Reflection Model (Perfect Bliss) 2010–12 is modelled on the well-known Hōō-do (Phoenix Pavilion), constructed in 1053 in Uji, near Kyoto, as part of the Byōdō-in Temple, a remarkable example of Heian-period (794–1185) Japanese architecture.

This work is from a series of sculptural installations designed to reframe the familiar by depicting structures of considerable cultural importance.

Meticulously recreating the structure from the traditional building material hinoki (Japanese Cypress) and avoiding embellishment and colour, Iwasaki’s exquisite work shows a respect for the materials, techniques, architecture and cultural significance of the building.

Takahiro Iwasaki is based in Hiroshima, Japan, and graduated from Hiroshima City University and Edinburgh College of Art MFA. Iwasaki is recognised as one of Japan’s new generation of emerging young artists, who creates intricately detailed models that reinterpret contemporary cityscapes and iconic historical buildings.

In recent years, his artworks have appeared in numerous international art fairs and major exhibitions, with sculptures from his Reflection Model series receiving the greatest attention. Iwasaki constructs precise three-dimensional models that combining actual buildings with their reflections, which are then suspended.

Discussion Questions

1. Iwasaki makes miniature replicas of historical temples and modern industrial sites. How do think scale or size changes the way a building is experienced?

2. Discuss how the artist has incorporated a visual relationship between the building and the reflection that it casts in the water that surrounds it.

Classroom Activities

1. Research the decorative elements of the Hōō-do (Phoenix Pavilion) in Uji.

2. Japan’s 10 yen coin and 10,000 yen note both carry an image of Hōō-do (Phoenix Pavilion). If you had to choose an important Australian building to be represented on an Australian coin, what would it be? Design what your coin would look like.

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