Within the secluded grandeur of Copenhagen’s erstwhile underground water reservoir, Japanese architect Hiroshi Sambuichi unfurls a contemplative installation, titled 'The Water'.
Transforming the Cisternerne into a sanctuary of light and shadows, Sambuichi navigates visitors through a mesmerizing underground journey, marking his first significant exhibition on international grounds. The installation, meticulously captured through the lens of Danish photographer Rasmus Hjortshøj, unravels as ‘a journey through an underground sea of light and darkness’.
Grounded in an intrinsic relationship with nature, Sambuichi’s approach is rooted in meticulous research of the local environs. His installation seeks to weave the outdoors within, extending the tranquility of the adjacent Søndermarken Park into the cistern’s subterranean chambers. Vegetation and natural light become key protagonists in this dialogue, reinvigorating the space with a gentle cadence of life. A nod to his Japanese heritage, Sambuichi installs a rendition of the Itsukushima Shrine, creating a tangible connection across continents, allowing visitors to traverse the underground waters, akin to a pilgrimage of light and reflection. The shrine becomes both a vessel and a visual poem, echoing the delicate balance of elements integral to Sambuichi’s work.
Embarking on an architectural excavation, Sambuichi breaks ground, quite literally, reopening the earth above the cisterns for the first time in a century and a half. This intentional rupture allows sunlight and water to converse in a serene dance, enveloping visitors in a sensorial embrace as they traverse the 120-meter-long corridor leading to the heart of the installation. Mirrors strategically placed disseminate light, creating a kaleidoscope of reflections, while a camera obscura meticulously projects the image of Frederiksberg Palace onto the cistern walls, anchoring the installation in its broader historical and geographical context. In Sambuichi's own words, this is an architectural ode to the elements, a harmonious interplay of sun, water, and air, meticulously tailored to accentuate the inherent beauty of place and time.