Project info

Inspired by a Japanese woodworking handbook by Torashichi Sumiyoshy and Gengo Matsui, Joining investigates a traditional building technique that over the centuries has shaped Japanese architecture. The project started when the artist commissioned eight different types of joints from Toshiro Kobayashi's workshop, a carpenter based in Imbari who still follows the traditional procedure. The crafted joints were then photographed with a medium format analogue camera from a 45-degree angle. The light gray background and the choice of leaving out highlights and deep shadows all contribute to focusing the viewer’s attention on the solid wood. The pictures are revealed on black and white transparencies lit by two light-box tables. The series keeps the original 6 x 7 cm dimension and ratio of the film. Each joint is matched by a grid of images that, just like a carpentry handbook, shows the step-by-step assembly of the pieces. The first slide on the top left of the grids
displays the components of each joint, those following show its operation.