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Tadao Ando: Von der Leere zur Unendlichkeit
Few architects are so able to harmonise modernity and tradition in their work as the self-taught Japanese architect Tadao Ando, who is worshipped like a pop star at home and abroad. Although constantly surrounded by an entourage of attentive assistants and awestruck admirers, the Pritzker prize holder who has no degree preserves a certain self-irony. We follow Ando in his daily office routine in Osaka amidst diligent employees, and at lectures delivered to an audience of thousands. The carefully framed shots in the film (impressive camerawork by Volker Sattel) show some of the milestones of his work and reveal an unexpected harmony between water lilies and exposed concrete. The film-maker and architect Mathias Frick gives an informed and fascinating insight into the world of the unconventional star architect, who does not hold back in his critical assessment of the current architectural and cultural landscape.
Mathias Frick is a trained architect and director with several years' experience in both professions. His first full length documentary Beijing 798 – Die Chinesische Avantgarde ('The Chinese Avant-garde') (2008) traces the history of the Art Factory 798 which was built in the 1950s by GDR architects in a Bauhaus style and, since 2002, has rapidly become an international gallery venue. His latest film, Freistil – Der Jazz und China ('Freestyle – Jazz and China') (2012) is about the renaissance of Chinese Jazz in Shanghai and Beijing – caught between the traditions of the 1930s and the current emergence of a unique Asian musical identity.