A Hard Pinch

Nezu Museum

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I thought my troubled mind would fade away just like the rain washed away all the dirt this morning. I don’t know whether my decision to come to Kengo Kuma’s public lecture yesterday was a good idea or not, but it definitely provoked something that had long been buried deep inside me. When I was an architecture student, I never thought of myself as a good designer and that’s one of the things that kept me from making any effort to be an architectural designer. But yesterday’s lecture said it wasn’t really the case. G, I almost forgot what made me in love with architecture in the first place. The public lecture was like a hard pinch all of the sudden.

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I rushed to the train station and still thought that my troubled mind was just another post-tiring-day effect I usually had that it would go away soon after I was out of breath and in full alert among the crazy mass. But surprisingly, even the crowded train didn’t make my mind stop from recalling all the memories. I just realized that the reason why I came to the state of distrusting architecture (in architecture and construction industry in this lovely country) was because after four years being the student of an idealist professor, I never worked for any idealist architect. My entire cosmic seemed to be turning up side down that it left a traumatic shock. All the crap designs, the dirty business, the corrupt people, the damned governmental institutions…they show me the ugly reality we all face that it raises my anger. How could they do this to architecture? to the city? to the people? to me?

But being an idealist architect like Kengo Kuma means you’ll only serve wealthy people, just like the nature of this profession, and that’s not what I want either. People with less money also deserve to have a good architecture. Architecture should belong to everyone because what defines it is not merely the Vitruvian firmitas, utilitas, venustas that it’s just a stack of bricks or rows of steel. Architecture is in the heart and mind of everyone that it holds and makes memories, gives meanings to our lives, gives us hope, and reminds us that God does exist.

And what left for me now…is another long contemplation.

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