Tokujin Yoshioka recreates Tornado installation in Japan
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Tokujin Yoshioka uses millions of straws to recreate Tornado installation in Japan

An installation of more than two million translucent straws provides the setting for a retrospective exhibition of work by Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka (+ slideshow).

Tornado by Tokujin Yoshioka

Yoshioka created the Tornado installation as a backdrop for a solo exhibition of his work at the Saga Prefectural Art Museum – located on the island of Kyushu, where the designer grew up.

Tornado by Tokujin Yoshioka

For the show, which opened 2 July 2015, he has recreated a 2007 installation in Miami built using over two million clear plastic drinking straws.

Tornado by Tokujin Yoshioka

The straws are arranged to look like a tornado, with swirling forms spanning across the exhibition spaces, which have recently undergone renovation work supervised by Yoshioka.

Tornado by Tokujin Yoshioka

Haphazardly jumbled straws burst through doorways, circle around columns and pile up in heaps around the spaces.

Tornado by Tokujin Yoshioka

Thin pathways remain clear of the piled straws, allowing visitors to walk through the exhibition and find the items on display.

Tornado by Tokujin Yoshioka

Hidden amongst the piles are some of Yoshioka's artistic seating designs, which are presented on low white plinths.

These include the 2001 Honey-pop Armchair, sculpted from a paper honeycomb, and the 2002 Water Block bench designed to look like solidified liquid.

Tornado by Tokujin Yoshioka

The 2008 Venus chair, which was grown in a tank as crystals formed on a sponge-like substrate, is also on show.

Tornado by Tokujin Yoshioka

A large space free of straws is dedicated to displaying versions of Yoshioka's plastic furniture for Italian brand Kartell – with patterned surfaces resembling cut-crystal glasses – which are arranged on the exposed concrete floor in front of a glowing white projection.

Tornado by Tokujin Yoshioka

His Moon chairs for furniture brand Moroso are presented in a glass-fronted space at the entrance to the museum, where the Tornado exhibition will remain until 2 August 2015.

Tornado by Tokujin Yoshioka

The Tornado installation was first built for Yoshioka's Designer of the Year commission at the 2007 edition of the Design Miami fair, and provided a similar backdrop for his furniture designs. Dezeen interviewed Yoshioka about the project at the time.

Tornado by Tokujin Yoshioka

It occupied the top floor of the Moore Building in the Miami Design District – a former furniture showroom that is now an events space and the permanent home for a Zaha Hadid installation.

Tornado by Tokujin Yoshioka

Yoshioka, who worked for fashion designer Issey Miyake before starting his own studio in 2000, is known for his ephemeral installations and furniture pieces.


Related content: see more projects by Tokujin Yoshioka


In 2010 he installed a 15-metre-long tank filled with flying feathers at Tokyo's Mori Art Museum and added a window made of 500 glass prisms to the Beyond Museum in Seoul.

Tornado by Tokujin Yoshioka

Most recently, he built transparent glass tea house beside a historic Buddhist temple in Kyoto.