HAKUTEN’s art work [Prism] won the Best of Best at the global architecture awards Architecture MasterPrize 2021

by | Sep 19, 2022 | Architecture, Architecture - Interior Design, Interior design, Lighting

Sarushima, Japan

Tokyo, Japan, 2021-12-03  

HAKUTEN exhibited the installation [prism] at an art event held on SARUSHIMA, an island used by the military until World War II. On the island, there are still remains from the past, such as the site of a gun battery, which can still be accessed. HAKUTEN attempted to revive the island’s remnants of the past through beautiful, colorful light, like a night scene.

Photo credit: Kim Dong-Gyu

Photo credit: Kim Dong-Gyu
Photo credit: Kim Dong-Gyu

When hit by straight light, the properties of the prism disperse it into colorful light, and HAKUTEN attempted to revive memories of the past in beautiful ways through the prism. They mapped out the beach based on the outline of the island and the site of the gun emplacements, and then laid out the prisms on the beach. Visitors sat on the sand, manipulated the light, and stroked the beach in their own style, resulting in numerous chains of light covering the beach. The light from the prism shone in and out of the sand, illuminating the hearts of those watching. Coupled with the distant night view of Yokosuka on the other side of the river, the beautiful light of the work brought the memories engraved on Sarushima to life.

Through their installations, HAKUTEN hopes to unearth the memories of places and things, and to bring them back to life through beautiful experiences. During the day, the prism is visible and the outline of the island appears. This installation uses minimal materials. The stand is made of renewable wood, and the finish is made of local sand. The lights and prisms will be kept and used for next year’s installation.

The installation was completed gradually over the course of the exhibition, which lasted about a month. It was designed to eventually be buried in the sand to become part of the landscape. Many people came to see the installation, thus revitalizing the area. Some of the negative memories of history were beautifully transformed through the power of art and design. For visitors from abroad, as well locals, this installation has the power to alter people’s understanding of history.

Photo credit: Kim Dong-Gyu
Photo credit: Kim Dong-Gyu

This work does not seek to glorify war. HAKUTEN simply believes that it is important to preserve memories of the past through various expressions of art and design that prevent them from being forgotten. They wish to spread this work to the world as an expression that beautifully reminds us of memories born from a negative legacy.

Technical sheet

Project location : Sarushima, Yokosuka City Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Company : HAKUTEN
Lead Architect : Takumi Takahashi
Client : Yokosuka City


People converse various feelings and emotions through new encounters and the process of understanding each other. This shared “firsthand experience” is what connects people. With an aim to increase the value of the “place” and “firsthand experience” of face-to-face encounters, Hakuten designs various communication-related “expressions,” “means” and “space.” We aim to develop new possibilities and innovations in the field of worldwide communications. Through the provision of better “Communication Designs”, our mission is to contribute to creating an enriched society, empowered by human sensitivity.

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