Current exhibition

This contents is only available in Japanese.

Sergei Tchoban's Architectural Drawings
Dreams of Frozen Music

Duration: 7th of April (Sat) til 24th of June(Sun)
Opening hours:11:00 to 18:30(Last Entry 18:00)
Opening Days:Thursday to Sunday
(The above period outside closes.)
(Closed in summer:2018.8.12 to 2018.8.16)

Admission:Adult 500 yen/Student(University , High School) 400 yen/Student(Junior high School、Elementary School) 300 yen
Location: Tokyo Art Museum

Organizer:Tokyo Art Museum
Planning:Plaza foundation
Curator:Jan-Philipp Fruhsorge
Support:Embassy of the federal republic of Germany in japan、Tchoban Foundation、 Moriki Paper Company, Ltd. 、
Shimizu Washi Co., Ltd.、 Fukui Prefecture Washi Industrial Union 、 Tesuki Washi Berlin、 The Drawing Hub Berlin


Sergei Tchoban is an architect, a draughtsman, a collector and founder of a Museum for Architectural Drawing in Berlin. Born in 1962 in Leningrad, he studied first in the Soviet Union then moved in 1992 to Germany and has now become a German citizen. Today he runs architectural offices in Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden under the name Tchoban Voss Architects. He is co-editor of the architectural magazine speech and has been curator of the Russian pavilion at the Architectural Biennale in Venice.

The exhibition project Dreams of Frozen Music at the Tokyo Art Museum in Sengawa will present about 30 drawings from the last couple of years from the architect. These works are not meant to be " the typical drafts" for architectural projects. No building is ever being built according to them, they rather can be seen as "free architectural fantasies". Tchoban's esthetic approach, his visual language and his artistic means seem not to be contemporary but rather timeless. Classical orders of columns, domes of baroque churches and e pre-modernist architecture are being blended into surreal vedutas. A technically brilliant draughtsman, Tchoban employs all kind of materials including ink, water color, red chalk, charcoal and pastel chalk.

In his works the notion of the classical capriccio seems to be revisited, the fantastic and playful transgression of genres and art historical classifications is at work. The classicist esthetics of ruins and quotations from revolutionary Soviet architecture, Monuments of gigantic Lenin head sand flooded buildings form a deeply mesmerizing landscape. The world which the artist depicts, seems out of joint, their fundaments defy to the final collapse. Modernism and postmodernism has not yet taken place.

The exhibitions title Dreams of Frozen Music makes reference to a phrase the German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling once used, and who thereby created a poetic image for architecture.

Harmony and measurement, classical principles of music and architecture come to mind, but the notion of freezing seems to evoke a certain temperature: on the one hand there is cool rationality, a sharp observing eye, but also the romantic sense of beauty of decay mingle in those works.

The presentation of the drawings of Mr. Tchoban in Japan is an absolute novelty. Here we find works that touch in a multilayered perspective - on complex issues of historical, architectural and cultural matter. A German architect of Russian descent, whose drawings explicitly raise questions of present and tradition and whose biography speaks of a double facetted identity. He comes to Japan, a country that is in an ever evolving cultural struggle with the polarity of the past and the future.

For many years has Sergei been interested in Japanese culture admiring the classical ukiyo-e artists like Hokusai and Hiroshige and the art of paper-making . T create his drawings he would use among other papers handmade Washi from one of the most famous papermakers, Iwano Ichibei IX from Echizen. But Sergei Tchoban has also an interest in more recent phenomena of Japanese culture. In 2016 there was an exhibition at the museum for architectural drawings, founded and designed by him in 2013 in Berlin, about architecture as a key element in anime films such as in the Oshii master piece Ghost in the shell.

The Tokyo art Museum is a private museum, founded by the collector and art patron of the arts Yoko Ito. It was built in 2004 by the Japanese star architect Ando Tadao and is part of a unique ensemble of all designed by Mr. Ando, along one street in the Sengawa district of central Tokyo.

On 7 April 2018 the opening of the exhibition will start with the artist talk with Sergei Tchoban and the curator Jan-Philipp Fruehsorge (translated into Japanese) followed by a book signing.

We are looking forward to your visit.