Anyone visiting Paris this summer can expect to find a life-sized doll’s house covering the front entranceway of the Palais de Tokyo contemporary art museum. It’s a sculpture by Amabouz Taturo (a pseudonym for Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi), and this dollhouse is part of a childhood-themed group show called CHILDHOOD: Another banana day for the dream-fish, which is on at the museum until 9 September. The exhibition, which lifts its title from a short fiction story by J.D. Salinger written in 1948, is meant to tap into the magic of the everyday.
The associate commissioner Kodama Kanazawa says this exhibition is meant to reflect on childhood as a place of creative freedom. “There is no one childhood model that we all share,” said Kanazawa. “If we admit that a unique childhood does not exist, then we can consider childhood as the aspiration and the desire of a time and a space where the soul is sensitive, creative and the imagination is free.”
The sprawling, three-level doll’s house is made of iron and wood and guests can walk through it, from a pink-painted living room to a kitchen and beyond (but not sit on its chairs).
Nishi, an architecture-friendly artist, is known for transforming buildings into domestic spaces. He does so with a sense of humour, too, like that time he turned a Chinese apartment into a parking garage with flower wallpaper, or when he built a tiny living room at the top of a cathedral in Switzerland. He is also known for transforming Singapore’s national monument, The Merlion, into a luxurious hotel room.
The goal for the artist is to draw in the public who might catch sight of the artwork—but might not already be fans of art.
“I always wanted to reach those who are normally not particularly interested in art,” said the artist. “I think of how to attract those people, and in such a huge outdoor exhibition… many people who are generally not interested in art will come. I like those events very much.”