A spatial installation of waves made of digitally-cut MDF and varnished with glossy black paint creates a “floating world” to compliment the Waterfalls series. Photo: Jakub Certowicz

NArchitekTURA Distills the Nature of Katsushika Hokusai for an Exhibition of His Prints at the National Museum in Krakow

With their evocative stylization of the natural environment, the 18th- and 19th-century woodblock prints of Katsushika Hokusai have influenced generations of artists around the world. This fall, they’ve even shaped the very design of their own exhibition drawing on the collection of the National Museum in Krakow.

NArchitekTURA conceived the 6,000-square-foot exhibition “Hokusai. Passages…” as a series of four stone gardens in rooms defined by golden display walls but otherwise mostly painted black. One notable exception is the central room with its expanses of satin navy referencing the deep sea blues, which color many of the Hokusai masterpieces on display. “I think exhibition architecture should interact with the art it presents,” says NArchitekTURA founder and owner Bartosz Haduch. “The gardens serve for tranquility and contemplation, like similar ones in the temples of Kyoto. On the other hand, the location of such elements in museum rooms is a kind of distinguishing feature and surprise.” 

Wall texts were inspired by noren fabric dividers, while screens were painted with silver varnish in a nod to Japanese techniques of fuki bokashi and maki-e plating. But the interactions between the boulders and beloved depicted in works including The Great Wave off Kanagawa are the true stars of the show. “The shapes, colors, and textures of the selected boulders indirectly refer to the work,” Haduch says. “And they were only borrowed for the duration of the exhibition,” which ends in December. “After, they will be returned to decorate some new gardens in the future.” And bring a little of Hokusai’s nature back into the natural world. 

The Great Wave off Kanagawa and Fine Wind, Clear Morning are displayed on a wall of digitally-cut MDF painted a navy blue taken from nearby works, which rests on a local boulder. Photo: Jakub Certowicz
The Great Wave off Kanagawa and Fine Wind, Clear Morning are displayed on a wall of digitally-cut MDF painted a navy blue taken from nearby works, which rests on a local boulder. Photography by Jakub Certowicz.
An enlarged version of stamp hangs on the wall to the left, while an inset display offers sample pages from One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji. Photo: Jakub Certowicz
An enlarged version of stamp hangs on the wall to the left, while an inset display offers sample pages from One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji. Photography by Jakub Certowicz.
In one of the smaller rooms, patterns cut in tinted plywood are based on illustrations from “The Dish Mansion,” one of the One Hundred Ghost Tales. Photo: Jakub Certowicz
In one of the smaller rooms, patterns cut in tinted plywood are based on illustrations from “The Dish Mansion”, one of the One Hundred Ghost Tales. Photography by Jakub Certowicz.
Fire-treated wood panels offer five works in fan-shaped passe-partout. Photo: Jakub Certowicz
Fire-treated wood panels offer five works in fan-shaped passe-partout. Photography by Jakub Certowicz.
A spatial installation of waves made of digitally-cut MDF and varnished with glossy black paint creates a “floating world” to compliment the Waterfalls series. Photo: Jakub Certowicz
A spatial installation of waves made of digitally-cut MDF and varnished with glossy black paint creates a “floating world” to compliment the Waterfalls series. Photography by Jakub Certowicz.
Freestanding display walls narrow in reference calligraphic brush strokes. Photo: Jakub Certowicz
Freestanding display walls narrow in reference calligraphic brush strokes. Photography by Jakub Certowicz.
The walls are painted in gold varnish and rest in beds of local stones. Photo: Jakub Certowicz
The walls are painted in gold varnish and rest in beds of local stones. Photography by Jakub Certowicz.
CNC Farm crafted the custom stools, inspired by the shape of Torii gates. Photo: Bartosz Haduch
CNC Farm crafted the custom stools, inspired by the shape of Torii gates. Photography by Bartosz Haduch.

more

  • “Experience The Times of Bill Cunningham” at South Street Seaport immersed visitors in the photographer’s imagery, interviews, video, notes, and sketches.

    DesignWire

    ESI Design Captures the Life and Times of Famed Fashion Shutterbug Bill Cunningham 

    A vacant Abercrombie & Fitch store in New York’s South Street Seaport became the unlikely location for a retrospective of the late fashion photographer Bill Cunningham’s life and work this fall.

  • S10 Gym & Recovery Spa

    DesignWire

    10 Questions With… Koray Duman

    For Koray Duman, cofounder of New York- and Istanbul-based architecture and design studio B-KD, starting a business seemed an inevitable career trajectory. Studying architecture in the late ‘90s in Turkey, Duman observ…

  • Brooks + Scarpa

    DesignWire

    Brooks + Scarpa Take Home AIA Gold Medal Award

    Lawrence (Larry) Scarpa and Angela (Angie) Brooks—partners in life and work—received the American Institute of Architects’ prestigious Gold Medal, awarded annually to individuals whose work embodies both practice a…