The Deutsche Bank Collection at the
"25," the anniversary exhibition of the Deutsche Bank
Collection, was a magnificent success; more visitors to the Deutsche
Guggenheim in Berlin were counted than ever before. Now, the show has
traveled to the Hara Museum in Tokyo with a completely new concept. As in
Berlin, Zaha Hadid's visionary exhibition design once again enters into an
inimitable symbiosis with the art. Achim Drucks on "Tokyo Blossoms"
- the presentation of the Deutsche Bank Collection in Japan's most
renowned museum for contemporary art.
Georg Baselitz, untitled, 1998,
Deutsche Bank Collection
At the opening of
Tokyo Blossoms, the wind gently blows over the huge flowers in the
Hara Museum's nocturnal garden.
Zaha Hadid was inspired to create these futurist floral sculptures by
Hanami, the Japanese cherry blossom festival during which the Japanese
hold picnics and parties to celebrate the highpoint of the spring beneath
the flowering cherry trees. Falling across their white surfaces are the
shadows of the many guests who have come to the most renowned Japanese
museum for contemporary art to take part in the opening of the second
station of the anniversary exhibition of the
Deutsche Bank Collection. It is an atmospheric image: the rounded forms of
Hadid's flowers gleam in the daylight that floods the bright exhibition
hall while the other sculptures in the museum's garden become lost in the
sketchy obscurity of the nighttime darkness.
Andreas Gursky, Atlanta, 1996,Deutsche Bank Collection
The largest of the Tokyo Blossoms is over thirteen feet tall and
provided an impressive backdrop for the opening speeches.
Ariane Grigoteit, director of Deutsche Bank Art, underscored how exciting
the preparations for the project were: "For us, it was a fascinating
experience to discover the bank's art from a completely new perspective.
Thanks to the museum's curatorial guidance, a completely unique show has
arisen that reflects upon the Deutsche Bank Collection as an international
corporate collection focused on young and current positions."
Toshio Hara, the museum's founder, patron, and director, drew parallels
between the museum and the Deutsche Bank Collection. Both institutions
were founded in 1979, and for both, contemporary art is an element of an
open society that furthers an understanding of our globalized present.
After the speeches, guests followed Hadid's "carpet of blossoms" into the
interior of the museum building, where the contours of the London-based
star architect's sculptures are echoed as shadows on the floor. The
intimate rooms of Toshio Hara's former family villa, built in 1938 in the
Bauhaus style, provide an ideal space for the works he and his team
selected. For Tokyo Blossoms, the curators concentrated entirely on
international contemporary art - with a focus on the works of German
Neo Rauch, Stereo, 2001, Sammlung Deutsche Bank
The show devotes an entire room to
Tobias Rehberger's ambiguous works. On his seemingly innocent watercolors
of mountain ranges, red circles mark the places where mountain climbers
fell to their death. The series
S.M.V., made in 1993, depicts the battlefields of the First World War
as idyllic landscapes. The scene in
Kahnfahrt (Canoe Ride) from 1965 has a historical feel; the blurry
motif, based on a photograph, seems to be surfacing in the memory. In the
Hara Museum, together with photographs by
Fischli and Weiss,
Wolfgang Tillmans, and
Thomas Ruff, paper works by artists ranging from
Sigmar Polke and
Georg Baselitz to
Rosemarie Trockel and
Neo Rauch create a panorama of contemporary German art.
Chris Ofili, Untitled, 2000,
Deutsche Bank Collection
international art stars are present in Tokyo, as well: in her silhouettes
that are both poetic and cutting,
Kara Walker investigates racist and sexist stereotypes in the US.
autograph postcards examine the American celebrity cult: whether it's
Cameron Diaz or
Mike Tyson, the stars stereotypically wish him "All the best."
Luc Tuymans' 1998 drawing Gemecties in blurred greys was placed
effectively next to the former fireplace of the modernist villa;
William Kentridge created his expressive charcoal drawings for the
Black Box, which was seen for the first time in October 2005 at the
Deutsche Guggenheim. Turner Prizewinner
Chris Ofili presents the people in his watercolor series as African icons
in a kaleidoscope of colorful garments and artistic hairstyles. The
curators' choice - more than 130 works by 38 artists - shows a preference
for works that merge seductive beauty with a proximity to the abyss.
Alessandro Pessoli, untitled, Deutsche Bank Collection
Although there are numerous Japanese artists in the collection, the exhibition
limits itself to Yutaka
Atsuko Tanaka, and
Miwa Yanagi, for whose video installation Kagome Kagome Zaha Hadid
designed a tunnel-like room. On the upper floor, the visitor once again
encounters the pure white blossom sculptures that accentuate the museum
space. And the show's next station in Singapore on the occasion of the
biennale there will certainly provide another opportunity for the star
architect to transform the exhibition space into a spectacular