PLAY! Museum is a brand new art space located in the west of Tokyo city, dedicated to families with children. It proposes exhibitions that introduce famous picture book artists and focus on special themes from a unique perspective.
The artist Komako Sakai, is a picture book writer known for “Yorukuma” and “Friday‘s Sugar-chan”. Her delicate depictions of children, animals, scenes and the poetic texts that resonate with the paintings have fascinated many.
To enhance the rural aspect of her drawings, the curator chose 2M26, a french duo of architects based in Kyoto to design the scenography of the exhibition. Their practice is at the border of design and architecture, between art and craft. After ten years of researche and experiementations on how to live, they created a modular building system exclusively based on softwood plank. With this unique material they designed several piece of furniture (stools, benches, chairs, tables and beds) as well as multiple houses.
The intial concept of the scenography was to create a house like pavilion for each story, together they would form a village and the space around would be percieved as the nature. Since the exhibition would be touring, the pavilion were finally divided into smaller display elements to ease the transport and implementation into other museums
The exhibition is Komako Sakai‘s first full-scale solo exhibition. She carefully selected about 250 original drawings, centering on her picture books. The space is divided into keywords such as secret, open field, darkness and children. Thus, the goal was to make the most of the softwood planks in order to occupy the space and express the different universes. The pyramidal podests of different hights question the way we look at the art and push spectators to interact with it.