Ubiquitous Site * Nagi's Ryoangi * Architectural Body is the first full architectural-scale work created by Arakawa + Gins; it is located at the Nagi Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan, on permanent exhibition. The first of Arakawa and Madeline Gins' large-scale architectural surrounds, the work constitutes one third of the museum, whose main architect is Arata Isozaki. Visitors enter from below, through a subterranean antechamber that leads from the rest of the museum, into Ubiquitous Site * Nagi's Ryoangi * Architectural Body.Labyrinth patterns are painted on the curved floor and ceiling of the antechamber, and photographs of the residents Labyrinth patterns are painted on the curved floor and ceiling of the antechamber, and photographs of the residents of Nagi line its back wall. Visitors ascend to the 'architectural surround' through a narrow spiral staricase. Upon entering the large tilted cylindrical room, one is immediately forced to re-orient their body and his or her spatial relation to the perceived environment. The south-facing room consists of a reproduction of the Ryongi Garden in Kyoto on the walls, other familiar objects such as a bench and a see-saw appear reflected on floor and ceiling, and the use of complementary colors red and green. Through this early built work of architecture, Arakawa and Gins introduce visitors to their philosophical explorations and groundbreaking ideas of "Learning how not to die."


“To be prepared for events one billion years from now, enter here.

“Beginning”, “past”, “future”. “I”, and “you” are all words that have no place in this. They are superfluous. 

As if magnetized, the body, moving in a veering, unbalanced balance, loses all sense of identity, or casts the little that remains of its identity as a person, outside itself. The person who entered the cylinder on her own volition ceases now to be the initiator of her own actions. There is no single initiator of actions to be found. Symmetry should be able to supplant identity, and sure enough, it can and does do this. In compliance with the objects and juxtapositions that prompt them to exist, perceptual, imaging, and architectural landing sites have been symmetrically aligned; they now initiate actions and instigate events. If the body proper loses its bearings within this symmetrically organized container, it is up to all the landing sites arrayed throughout the entire interior of the cylinder plus the visitor's body proper, functioning palpably in combination as an "architectural body," to institute a new set of bearings. This is also how things go in the normal course of events, although generally the number and diversity of the initiating sites involved in each action stand unrevealed. 

Eternity is an ancient and foolish dream or construction. Learning how not to die is, of course, an entirely different matter. Step into Ubiquitous Site * Nagi's Ryoangi * Architectural Body to learn how not to die."

- Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins


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Completed 1994

• Size: 70′ (length) x 30′ (diameter)

• Program: Permanent Installation

• Location: Nagi Museum of Modern Art (Nagi MOCA),

  Nagi, Okayama prefecture, Japan