Invitation to sponsor the Dedication
Project to Todaiji Temple
to commemorate the 1250th anniversary
of the death of Priest Roben

Photo by Kazuyoshi MIYOSHI

The year 2023 is the 1250th anniversary of the death of Priest Roben, the first chief abbot of Todaiji Temple. He contributed greatly to its foundation.

In the 8th century, Emperor Shomu ordered the construction of the Great Buddha and his huge shrine. In this period, called the Tempyo period (729-794), people spent uneasy days and morals were corrupted because of power games in the government, consecutive civil wars, and the pandemic of smallpox. The emperor hoped for a peaceful nation and people’s happiness and was absorbed in Buddhism. His ideals resulted in the foundation of Todaiji Temple and abundant Buddhist artworks unique to Japan, which have been relayed through generations to the present age.

On the other hand, we live uneasy lives anywhere in the world after the universal pandemic of COVID-19. Besides, global climate change, considered as an indirect cause of such plagues, has brought various natural disasters to many parts of the planet for a long time, imposing unbearable hardship on people and driving them to despair. This threat is getting hard to get rid of unless each of us cope with its fundamental causes.

This dedication project, 1250 years after the death of Priest Roben, is aimed at getting a right occasion to think about the present situation, in which our lives and societies, as well as other creatures, are threatened, and people feel more and more uncertain day after day, to have common values, and to act together. We chose Todaiji Temple to dedicate our monumental object because the temple always gathers a lot of people all over the world to pray with its peaceful philosophy and artistic works based on Buddhism.

February 2023
Akane YAMADA
Representative of Dedication Project
[ HOW TO JOIN US FOR DEDICATION ]

You can share the cost of dedication by donating 100,000 JPY.

[ HOW TO PAY YOUR SHARE ]

Pay 100,000 yen into the following account.

Bank: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking
Branch: Nakano
Deposit Type: Savings
Account Number: 4972394
Account Holder: Hono-project
Your account statement can be used as the receipt.
[ TERM OF EXHIBITION ]

From October 14 to 16, 2023

We will show the names of donators in our project book, on our website, and at the exhibition space. After the dedication, the artwork will be exhibited in the corridor of the Great Buddha Hall until March in 2024.
[ FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ]

Contact us using this form.

BOARD OF DEDICATION PROJECT

  • Chief Director: Akane YAMADA,
    representative director of A-WORKS, Inc.
  • Director: Naoyuki NAGATA,
    architect, professor at Nara Women’s University
  • Director: Tatsuya MATSUI,
    representative director of Flower Robotics, Inc.
  • Director: Shunsaku MIYAGI,
    chief representative of Byodoin Temple, landscape architect
  • Director: Koji YAMADA,
    representative director of At Creation Co., Ltd.
  • Akane YAMAZAKI (YAMADA)
    representative director of A-WORKS, Inc., design producer

Born in 1964 in Tokyo, Japan, and graduating from Japan Women’s University with a degree in Housing Studies in 1987,Yamada embarked on a notable career journey. Joining TOTO Ltd. in the same year, she worked in a specialized gallery focused on architecture and design. Serving as a curator for exhibitions and sponsorship events featuring architects, interior designers, and product designers, her expertise flourished.

In 1991, she took a leap toward entrepreneurship, founding A-WORKS, Inc. Collaborating with architects, their primary focus became the planning of signage and visual identity for public facilities such as schools, community centers, and literary museums, along with furniture planning.

Throughout the late 1990s, she played a key role as the secretariat for the 100 Architects in their 30s Conference and Exhibition, and in 1999, she managed the project team “Project co.jp,” representing Japan at the Venice Biennale.

In 2002, she achieved comprehensive project management for Tokyo Electric Power Company’s “Style Kitchen” project.

This dynamic career showcases her significant contributions to the fields of architecture, design, and project management.

Photo by Taishi HIROKAWA

Flames of Calm

With the global climate change that has become more evident since the beginning of this century, we have experienced firsthand that the benefits of solar energy, which should have been the source of everything under the sun, are turning into disasters not only for humanity but also for all living things on earth. It is becoming clear that this conversion has been brought about by the actions of people up to the present time.

Vairocana Buddha of Todaiji Temple broadcasts the universal truth to all the people and enlightens them. In other words, he reigns the universe so that the sunlight may reach everywhere. We cannot help imagining how the compassionate Buddha feels, what he considers, and how he reacts to save us, seeing the present situation, in which the sun's blessings and disasters are becoming mixed together because of human activities.

On the other hand, since the Nara period (710-794), when Buddhism, which was introduced to Japan in the 6th century, began to develop in a way unique to Japan, fire has been playing a significant role in many traditional Buddhist events to pray for the well-being of people, including protecting the country, keeping the land peaceful, bringing good weather and good harvest. In fact, many temples and shrines in Nara, where located is Todaiji Temple, use fire symbolically to purify or enlighten visitors, like the famous Shunie ceremony at Nigatsudo Hall in Todaiji Temple.

There is no other place than the Great Buddha Hall, which is dominated by the spiritual energy, to put an artwork uniting the sun’s flame in the universe and the flames on this planet. The work is expected to make us better aware of climate change and inspire us to take action, even if it’s a small step. The flickering flames of the work symbolize our wish to rebuild a ‘sustainable’ relationship between the sunlight and everything on the planet and to overcome disasters around the world.

Art Production: ASAHI BULDING-WALL CO.,LTD KURIHARA-WOOD-WORK CO.,LTD

Photo by Taishi HIROKAWA

At Todaiji Temple in Nara
Burning are the flames imitating the sun,
Floating above the palm of Buddha.
It’s a message to the earth,
Recalling blazing flames of the sun
And flickering flames on the earth.
It’s a piece of modern art,
Uniting traditional techniques of craftsmanship
And state of the art technologies.
It wishes to be a pilot light of all the fires
To destroy whatever troubles us.

ARTIST

Tatsuya MATSUI
artitist and designer who created
“Flames of Calm”

松井龍哉

Born in Tokyo in 1969, MATSUI graduated from the College of Art at Nihon University in 1991.
Following his graduation, he gained valuable experience at the Kenzo Tange Associates before venturing to France. There, he became a research fellow at Kitano Symbiotic Systems Project, funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency.
In 2001, MATSUI embarked on an independent journey, founding Flower Robotics Inc. He oversees the entire spectrum of research, development, and sales for the company's robotic creations.
In 2014, he expanded his creative endeavors by establishing Atelier Tatsuya Matsui, engaging in a diverse array of design projects. In 2020, he ventured into the realm of contemporary art, creating compelling works that broaden the scope of his artistic activities.

[ACCOLADES]
Good Design Award (Japan)
ACC Bronze Award
iF Design Award (Germany)
Red Dot Design Award (Germany)
6th Nichigei Award

[SOLO EXHIBITIONS]
2006: Tatsuya Matsui Solo exhibition at the Mito Art Museum
2013: "Flower and Bird Space" Solo exhibition at POLA Museum Annex
2014: "Re:Play" Solo exhibition at Ise Sekiya
From 2017 to 2023: Participation in the touring exhibition "Hello, Robot"
held in various museums across Europe

In addition to his prolific career in the arts, MATSUI serves as a Visiting Professor at Nihon
University College of Art and a Visiting Professor at Seian University of Art and Design.

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