“Precision Machines”: Kome: the art of rice @ 21_21 Design Site


The rice stalks have risen.

They are living things.

They are precision machines.

All stand erect.

At their tips, which waited patiently in the rain,

Tiny white flowers glisten and above the quiet amber puddles reflecting the sun

Red dragonflies glide.

“The Breeze Comes Filling the Valley”, Kenji Miyazawa

Probably this head’s up is too late to do you much good, but if you happen to find yourself in Tokyo today, Sunday 15 June 2014, or better yet are already in the Roppongi area and want something to do, some place to go to get out of the heat and humidity (mushiatsui!), you could do worse than to duck into the Tadao-Ando-designed 21_21 Design Site in a corner of the park behind Tokyo Midtown. It won’t take long to tour the whole exhibit; I I was outta there in about an hour, and that was with taking a whole passel full of photos – some of which you can see below…

The exhibition is, of course, surprisingly interesting – I say “of course” because, if it were otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing about it here – and the curators are photographer-friendly, so I really enjoyed some quality shooting time with my new Olympus e-p5 and venerable Panasonic Lumix 7-14 4.0.

And 21_21 Design Site is worth visiting for its own sake, if only to relax in the cool grey, icebox-like (but suprisingly warm) interior.

Fun Facts, from the exhibition book: a typical bowl of rice holds about 3,000 grain. That’s three bundles of rice talks (so comes from three seeds).


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