Tadashi Kawamata’s solo exhibition Over Flow at MAAT’s Oval Gallery is centered around questions of global ecology and tourism. The immersive installation invites the viewer to experience a seascape of remains which follows an ecological catastrophe, where debris transported by the world’s seas are imagined to engulf civilisation.
The Japanese artist, who is known worldwide for his large scale sustainable architectural environments, developed this project during one year of research and field work in Portugal, culminating in a workshop with artists and architects led by architectural collective Os Espacialistas. The large-scale commission at MAAT integrates both plastic residues and abandoned boats collected on Portugal’s shores during beach cleaning campaigns by volunteer organisation Brigada do Mar, Almada City Hall and the Fishing Port of Nazaré. These elements come together in a sculptural form that evokes the polluting elements aggregated by the perpetual movements of the ocean, as well as global tourism and its fatal consumption of natural resources.