Quynh Hoang Vantu

2015 Kamiyama Artist in Residence participant

Quynh Vantu is a licensed architect and artist from the USA with a studio-based practice devoted to spatial experimentation.  Through an interdisciplinary practice between art and architecture, her work explores our physical relationship to the built environment and how we interact with our spatial surroundings.  Drawing from her upbringing in the American South, Vantu is particularly interested in the notion of hospitality and thresholds of social interaction.  Often exploring ways that architecture choreographs our everyday engagements with the built environment and with each other, her site-specific installations offer the notion of movement of the body through space as an implementation in design to activate a more engaged spatial condition of experience.  Quynh Vantu has her Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech and her Masters of Architecture from Cranbrook Academy of Art in the USA.  She also was DAAD scholar at Olafur Eliasson’s Institut für Raumlexperimente candidate in Architecture at the Bartlett School or Architecture – University College London.  She currently is based in London and works in situ.  (text in 2015)
Artist's Website


KYOKAI (Inside/Outside), 2015     

Inside and outside, Kyokai (Inside/Outside) exists as both. Exploring ideas of boundary and threshold, Kyokai (Inside/Outside) is an articulation of architectural elements that allows for the passage between public and private, and inside and outside. A movement of the body through this layered entry is first created by an engawa, a zone usually transitioning the public and private space of a house. Moving past the engawa and through a low threshold, the body is elicited in an act of humility upon entering into a corridor leading to framed-views of the surrounding landscape. And lastly a passage through an even lower threshold grants a view of the sakura garden framed by this outdoor room. This procession creates an experience of the space through movement and allows the surrounding environment to be discovered by this procession through the space. Architecture and art are an experience and a lens to view the world. It is not only something that you look at but look through and experiencing the relationship of the body and space.
Through traveling around Japan, I am inspired by the hospitality of the people, smell of the natural materials, appreciation for the natural environment and the choreography of architecture that make each place unique. As a traveler, I desired for public places to rest and enjoy my surroundings but found little, therefore I wished to make a public space within Kamiyama that is inspired by the private spaces in Japanese architecture that offers hospitality to everyone as a place to meet, sit, rest and enjoy the beautiful natural environment in Kamiyama. Local cedar and stone are used. And if you listen closely even the Kamiyama air announces itself through an Aeolian harp (wind harp) installed in the permeable cedar walls. Kyokai (Inside/Outside) is an act of hospitality in the spirit of Kamiyama’s tradition in welcoming travelers and pilgrims. Please feel welcomed to experience and enjoy. 

Place:Kamiyama-cho Kaizen center gate ball field
Materials:Japanese cedar, Kamiyama blue stone, nylon string, tuning pin
Size:5m x 5m x 3m