yusuke kamata

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The House

The House, a project by Kamata Yusuke, reflects on the issues of contemporary society by tapping into different histories through the lens of architecture. The project started out as a study of Japanese two-story wooden houses that have existed in different periods for different reasons in Japan, Korea, and the United States. In 1910, Korea under Japanese colonial rule witnessed the houses being erected across the country for Japanese residents. On the other part of the world, the United States at war with Japan at the time, was constructing sophisticated simulations of Japanese dwellings for incendiary bombing tests. Though the houses may be identical in style and form, the contexts in which they were built are vastly different.
The history of architecture and culture is always intricately woven together with national identity. On some occasions, cultural contact was forged in an arbitrary fashion with the purpose of emphasizing a certain cultural context.
One such example is found in traditional Japanese architecture, whose emphasis on formal simplicity with horizontal lines and the standardized construction method was seen as overlapping with the modernist architecture of the West in the early 20th century. This idea fostered cultural contact between Japan and the West. Having reached its climax in the early 20th century, such cultural nationalism still persists in some corners of contemporary society.
The House examines how history and culture have been constructed in order to discover yet another page of human history. At the same time, the project creates a physical space where the Japanese houses built in Japan, Korea and the United States under different contexts, overlap with each other. The space, which emerges through the intersecting lines, is also a space formed by intersecting histories, and turns into a platform that reflects on the present.

© 2020 yusuke kamata