Exhibition of Japanese art in Moscow Kremlin Museums
4. Exhibition design
Some of the finest examples of Japanese textile and metal craftsmanship of the Meiji period were exhibited inside Moscow Kremlin, on the ground floor of the 17th century Patriarchy Palace and Uspenskaya bell tower. The expositional design ought to resolve the conflict between the sophisticated and hefty historical architecture and the unrelated exhibition content.
The answer to this was to approach the display infrastructure as an insertion or transplant helping to distance the exhibits from the architectural context and create a completely independent space, separate from the historical interior yet not conflicting with it in any way. Transparent parts of the showcases, when aligned, made up see-through perspectives and multiple visual counterpoints, allowing for the double-sided view that most exhibits require.
In the exhibition hall of the Patriarchy Palace a room consisting of double-sided showcases was constructed around the stumpy central column. When a visitor moves alongside the outer perimeter, he is presented with a frontal view of the exhibits and the mandatory information labels, but upon entering the room he finds himself in an enclosed, meditative space, one-on-one with the refined materiality of the Japanese artisanship.