Hiroshi Sugimoto-Daniel Libeskind: The Conversation

Extraordinary discussion between artist and architect, May 31st

The Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) celebrates the upcoming opening of the Hiroshi Sugimoto: History of History exhibition in its new gallery in the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, with Hiroshi Sugimoto-Daniel Libeskind: The Conversation. This remarkable evening features a discussion between internationally acclaimed Japanese contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimoto and Daniel Libeskind, architect for the Museum’s expansion and restoration project. Moderated by ROM Director and CEO William Thorsell, the free event (reserved seating only) takes place on Thursday, May 31, 2007 at 7 pm in the Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre. It is a unique opportunity to hear first-hand from two of the most influential leaders in the fields of contemporary art and architecture.

The focus of the conversation is architecture and photography, two areas in which Sugimoto and Libeskind have extensive experience and interest. Sugimoto was inspired by Daniel Libeskind's architecture and reconfigured his exhibition History of History to create an entirely new installation for the ICC, including an impressive 15 ft. high, 90 ft.-long wall that curves majestically through the gallery space. Sugimoto has said that he is "reconstructing Daniel Libeskind's deconstructed space" and his monolith is "in conversation" with Libeskind's architecture. The 6,300 square-foot gallery’s sloping walls and ceilings reaching 35 ft. create a dramatic setting for Sugimoto’s installation.

Also on Thursday, May 31st, the ICC will host a ticketed fundraising event to unveil the History of History exhibition. Guests of this special event will attend the Hiroshi Sugimoto-Daniel Libeskind: The Conversation and then be the first to view the exhibition before its public opening, June 2nd. Tickets are limited. Visit www.rom.on.ca/about/icc for more details. Reserved seating for the Sugimoto-Libeskind Conversation is also limited. Contact icc@rom.on.ca or 416.586.5524 for more details.

Hiroshi Sugimoto was born in Tokyo in 1948 and moved to New York City in the 1970s, where he became a dealer and collector of Japanese and East Asian art while working as an artist. Well known for his photography series of seascapes as well as architecture, his installations reveal his enduring interest in the interconnection between the past and the present. Hiroshi Sugimoto: History of History, on display from June 2, 2007 to August 19, 2007, takes the visitor on a tour of time and history through more than 50 artworks, including contemporary photographs by Sugimoto, superb historical Asian artifacts and unique natural specimens, all from the artist’s personal collection. History of History is part of the Architectural Opening & Building Dedication of the Lee-Chin Crystal on June 2nd.

Daniel Libeskind was born in Poland and immigrated with his family to Israel in 1957, before settling in New York City in 1959. A virtuoso musician before he studied architecture, Libeskind has designed buildings around the world, including the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Felix Nussbaum Museum in Osnabruck, Germany, the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, England. Libeskind’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, opening June 2nd, is the centerpiece of the ROM’s $270-million expansion project.

The ROM’s Institute for Contemporary Culture plays a vital role in a museum whose collections embrace many civilizations, as well as the record of nature through countless ages. In the context of the ROM’s lively documentation of history, the ICC explores current cultural issues through the exhibitions of art and architecture, lectures, film series, and informal gatherings.

The ICC provides a unique forum where the new encounters the historical and anthropological. It explores both the continuity and discontinuity of cultures—their relationships across space and time, to each other and to the natural world. The ROM’s collections provide context and depth to contemporary issues addressed by artists, architects, and participants in ICC events from around the world.

Hiroshi Sugimoto: History of History

Presented by:

Bank of Montreal


Supporting Sponsor: Castlepoint Realty Partners

Exhibit Patrons:
Cathay Pacific Airways Limited

Hal Jackman Foundation

The Japan Foundation

Hiroshi Sugimoto: History of History is co-organized by Japan Society, New York and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.