Metabolism #Invisible Cities #part 1 by Pierre Jean Giloux

1 min

Metabolism #Invisible Cities #part 1 by Pierre Jean Giloux

In Metabolism artist Pierre Jean Giloux rebuilds the city of Tokyo, combining real and synthetic images.

© DR

The artist

A French artist born in 1965, Pierre Jean Giloux studied in Lyon at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and then in Great Britain. A photographer, illustrator and director, he mainly works using space/volume and images. Today, he is interested in video extended by synthetic images, which he links using visual and audio composition.


His latest project, Invisible Cities, is composed of four videos, produced in collaboration with Lionel Marchetti, a French composer of musique concrète: Metabolism (2015), followed by Japan Principle (2015), Shrinking Cities (2016) and Stations (2017).


Reimagining the city


In Metabolism, Pierre Jean Giloux rebuilds Tokyo using archives, drawings, photographs, videos and synthetic images. To interrogate the urban and social landscape and reality of the city, he reinvents it, incorporating major futuristic projects by Japanese architects:  the Cluster in the Air (1962) by architect Arata Isozaki, large grape-bunch-shaped structures, and Helix City (1961) by Kisho Kurokawa, towers inspired by the shape of DNA.


For 11 minutes, the camera, using long overhead shots, enters the city and reveals life around these hyper-realistic constructions, presented as large, living, autonomous complexes.


By combining different worlds, the artist seeks to "weave the virtual with reality" in order to bring out the central idea of his project: interaction.


Architectural Utopias

At the origin of Metabolism is the discovery of a photo montage by Arata Isozaki: Re-ruined Hiroshima  (1968), a projection of two large buildings in ruins over a photo of the devastated city of Hiroshima in 1945. For Arata Isozaki, the ruins represent "dead architectures", hence the need to use fiction to rebuild them.


Pierre Jean Giloux thus became interested in the Metabolists, of which Arata Isozaki is one. This group of Japanese architects and urban planners from the 1960’s considered human society to be “a living process.” It attempted to link architecture to natural cycles to create sustainable cities and rejected the oppositions of indoor/outdoor, nature/technology.


Pierre Jean Giloux saw in synthetic images the possibility of making these utopian projects visible in our contemporary landscapes.



From Paris to Tokyo

Metabolism was exhibited at the Arsenal Pavilion in Paris, the Thalie Art Foundation in Brussels, the Comix Home Base in Hong Kong, the Kyoto Art Center, and the Barbican Centre in London in 2017.


In June 2018, Metabolism was selected at Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, which reaches beyond short films to showcase new Asian video culture, this year using the theme “Cinema Smart”. A monograph of the project Invisible Cities is also appearing in 2018.

Metabolism # Invisible Cities # Part 1. 2015 (Extacts)
The Institut français and the project

In 2015, Pierre Jean Giloux was selected to spend time at the Villa Kujoyama, a residency for artists in Japan supported by the Institut français.


After his residence, he produced the latest film of his Invisible Cities project: Stations


Learn more about the Villa Kujoyama.