Artists Japan

Kapoor in Japan

Mobile space for disaster-hit region

Inside the inflatable

Anish Kapoor is designing a mobile concert hall to bring music and performance arts to the areas of northern Japan devastated by the earthquake and tsunami earlier this year. The structure is being built in collaboration with the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki.

The hall, which will be able to seat up to 700 spectators, has been commissioned by the Lucerne Festival in association with Kajimoto Music, a concert management agency.

Kapoor will design the shell of the building, a “pneumatic structure” made of an elastic ­material such as PVC that can be erected quickly by inflating it with air.

The hall will be constructed in pieces which are “segmented” so that when the structure is dismantled each section can be folded and “transported by truck and delivered to each region” according to a description of the project on the organisers’ website.

The building will be used to stage music performances of all kinds, as well as artistic projects from around the world.

An artistic committee which includes conductors Claudio Abbadio and Daniel Barenboim, Chinese pianist Lang Lang, and Japanese cellist Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, among many others, has been set up to plan the programming which is due to begin in spring 2012.

“It’s obvious that we can’t undo all the terrible pain and suffering, but through music and art we want to give the people in the region new hope and promise,” Michael Haefliger, executive director of the Lucerne Festival, told AFP.

The project, which is entitled Ark Nova, is being sponsored by the Swiss bank UBS but the organisers hope to find additional supporters for each performance so that attendance can be free.

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