Gregory Colbert Ashes and Snow Shigeru Ban
The Nomadic Museum
Santa Monica, California, USA
On view: January 14, 2006 - May 14, 2006
The containers reﬂect Colbert's love of things that age. Each one has its own history./Shigeru Ban
The exhibition Ashes and Snow is an ongoing project by Gregory Colbert who, over the course of 14 years, has made more than 30 expeditions to India, Egypt, Burma, Tonga, Sri Lanka, Namibia, Kenya, Antarctica, India, the Azores, Borneo and many other locations to photograph unscripted interactions between man and nature's living masterpieces in their natural state.
In exploring the shared language and poetic sensibilities of all animals, I am working towards rediscovering the common ground that once existed when people lived in harmony with animals./Gregory Colbert
Assembled next to the historic Santa Monica Pier the Nomadic
Museum building is composed largely of recyclable and reusable
materials, demonstrating sustainable practices and an innovative
Designed for easy assembly and disassembly, the entire
exhibition is packed into eight containers as it travels from place
to place. The additional 144 containers are rented at each new
location. The steel containers are stacked in a checkerboard
pattern 34 feet high to form the walls of the three wings of the
museum. The openings between the containers are secured with a
diagonal fabric-like membrane.
The structure of the internal Sonotube system consists of
triangular trusses of paper tubes resting on a colonnade of 35 feet
tall paper tube columns. The aluminium roof trusses and tensile
roof fabric are engineered and fabricated to be easily
deconstructed, stored and shipped to future locations.
The wide wood-plank walkways are bordered on either side by bays
filled with river rock. The unframed photos, printed on cream
colored handmade Japanese paper, are hung from thin cables and
suspension rods, installed between the paper columns.
The Santa Monica show marks the second US venue, the first was
in New York City in 2005 where the museum was constructed on an
abandoned pier on the Hudson River. The museum is slightly
redesigned each time it moves to adjust to the different site
Photographic artworks and film images from recent expeditions
have been added to the exhibition, since its first showing at the
Venice Arsenale in 2002, so that the show itself evolves as it
To date, Gregory Colbert has completed more than 30 extensive international expeditions to places as diverse as India, Egypt, Burma, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Ethiopia, Namibia, Tonga, the Azores, Antarctica and Borneo to explore the natural interaction between man and animal. A devoted group of private collectors has made it possible for Colbert to photograph elephants, whales, manatees, eagles and other animals in their own environments and on their own terms.
Shigeru Ban, known for his structures made from unexpected materials, like the Paper Church in Japan, is currently working on the the new Centre Pompidou in Metz, France.
56,000 square feet
Total height: 56 feet.
Width: 185 feet
Length: 350 feet
Last updated: December 10, 2012