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March 22, 2010 | by  | in Visual Arts |
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Built Fabric

Visual arts

After discovering a shared thematic link in their research dealing with the demolition of buildings, masters students Mizuho Nishioka (Fine Arts, Massey) and Tane Moleta (Architecture, Victoria) have joined forces to present a new exhibition at the Toi Poneke gallery this month. Built Fabric explores their shared interest in architecture—in particular the demolition of buildings and the process of their renewal—through the mediums of drawing and photography.

Moleta’s contribution to the space is a series of rather beautiful and elaborate orthographic drawings that document his research into ‘the evolving nature’ of Shinto Temples in Japan. These structures, which often date back thousands of years, are dismantled and reassembled roughly every twenty years with the majority of materials being reused in their re-construction.

The photographs of Nishioka, which alternate with the drawings inside the gallery space, observe this practice of demolition and reconstruction in a modern, local context. They present various fragments and items of debris found in and around the building site of the new ‘green’ Telecom building on Willis Street. Isolated from their context on stark black backgrounds Nishioka comments on new attitudes we hold in regard to the materials of building construction. The separation of debris from its environment references the practice she observed on the building site whereby all items of building waste have been carefully itemised and chronicled, creating an inventory of building fragments which are then either used in the creation of the new building or shipped off to another construction site.

Showing at Toi Poneke until March 26, the exhibition is presented as an exploration into the idea that our built environment is a representation of our value systems. The arresting imagery questions whether the act of demolition is in fact evidence that our appreciation of the use of space is continuously shifting, an important reflection in an age dominated by conditions of sustainability.

Built Fabric: Mizuho Nishioka & Tane Moleta
Toi Poneke Gallery, 61 Abel Smith St, March 4–26

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