Atsushi Kitagawara

Gallery Ma

Atsushi Kitagawara first gained widespread recognition in 1986 with his theatrical, faux-deco cinema complex called “RISE” in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. Since then he has consistently revealed himself as a master of free juxtaposition and nonorthogonal planning and detailing. Not unlike the experience of Shin Takamatsu or Philippe Starck’s designs, the experience of his buildings is predominantly one of hedonism, eroticism, and sadomasochism. While not as vacantly painful as Takamatsu, nor as gallicly scatological as Starck, Kitagawara seems to share with them a voyeur’s conception of Tokyo, and by extension, Japan, as pornotopia. It is either a paradox or simply a weakness that Kitagawara’s work poses no further question about the urban environment; he accepts and even seems to find energy in the tragic isolation imposed by postwar Tokyo as a vast, unrelieved necropolis. His is a series

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