'japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation' at tokyo's mori art museum
 

'japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation' at tokyo's mori art museum

today, japanese architecture attracts attention from all over the world. numerous architects, from kenzo tange to yoshio taniguchi, tadao ando, kengo kuma, kazuyo sejima and other young upcoming architects have received great international acclaim. founded on rich traditions that have stretch back to ancient times, contemporary japanese architecture encompasses exceptionally creative and original ideas and expressions.

mori art museum tokyo
installation view: ‘japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation’
photo by koroda takeru, courtesy of mori art museum, tokyo (also main image)

 

 

in the 150 years following the meiji restoration of 1868, architecture presented immense opportunities for experimentation in japan. how did the long and rich japanese tradition of wooden architecture evolve, among a great number of practices? what did the west find attractive about architecture in japan, and how did japanese architecture then respond to this interest? these questions, and responses to them, are explored as part of a new exhibition at tokyo’s mori art museum titled ‘japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation’.

mori art museum tokyo
installation view: ‘japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation’
photo by koroda takeru, courtesy of mori art museum, tokyo

 

 

structured around nine sections based on key concepts for interpreting the built environment in japan today, the exhibition traces the lineage of architecture from ancient times until the present. featuring 100 projects and over 400 items — including important architectural materials, models, and interactive installations — the wide-ranging exhibits illuminate not only the state of japanese architecture in the past and present, but also a vision of the future.

mori art museum tokyo
the main hall of the ancient izumo shrine
date unknown / 2018 (cg) | cg production: goto katsunori

 

 

‘the arrival on the scene of tange kenzo propelled contemporary japanese architecture to the cutting edge of global architectural practice, where it has remained ever since,’ says terunobu fujimori, the exhibition’s advisor. ‘that this was possible owes much to traditional japanese architecture, the spirit of which runs through the veins of japanese architects whether or not they are aware of it — in their spatial sense, in the use of wooden construction using pillars and beams, and the division of inside and out, for example. this exhibition takes actual projects by leading architects, and uses these examples to illuminate this invisible connection between such traditions and the present day.’

mori art museum tokyo
installation view: ‘japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation’
photo by koroda takeru, courtesy of mori art museum, tokyo

 

 

exhibition highlights include: a full-scale replica of sen-no-rikyu’s tai-an tea house, the oldest surviving example of chashitsu (tea house or tea room) architecture in japan; a large 1/3-scale model of tange kenzo’s house; key academic documents from the history of japanese architecture; a book lounge featuring original modernist furniture masterpieces; and the latest projects by japanese architects working internationally.

mori art museum tokyo
kigumi infinity, japan pavilion, expo milano 2015 by kitagawara atsushi, 2015, milan
photo by ohno shigeru

 

 

meanwhile, nine sections explore themes such as: the possibilities of wood; transcendent aesthetics; roofs of tranquility; crafts as architecture; linked spaces; hybrid architecture; forms for living together; japan discovered; and living with nature. ‘japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation’ remains on view at the mori art museum in tokyo until september 17, 2018.

mori art museum tokyo
yusuhara wooden bridge museum by kuma kengo, 2010, kochi, japan
photo by ota takumi

mori art museum tokyo
installation view: ‘japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation’
photo by koroda takeru, courtesy of mori art museum, tokyo

mori art museum tokyo
installation view: ‘japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation’
photo by koroda takeru, courtesy of mori art museum, tokyo

mori art museum tokyo
installation view: ‘japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation’
photo by koroda takeru, courtesy of mori art museum, tokyo

mori art museum tokyo
installation view: ‘japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation’
photo by koroda takeru, courtesy of mori art museum, tokyo


installation view: ‘japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation’
photo by koroda takeru, courtesy of mori art museum, tokyo


installation view: ‘japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation’
photo by koroda takeru, courtesy of mori art museum, tokyo


installation view: ‘japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation’
photo by koroda takeru, courtesy of mori art museum, tokyo


installation view: ‘japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation’
photo by koroda takeru, courtesy of mori art museum, tokyo

 

 

 

 

roppongi hills and mori art museum 15th anniversary exhibition
japan in architecture: genealogies of its transformation

 

organizer: mori art museum
in association with: architectural institute of japan, the japan institute of architects, arcasia aca18 tokyo, japan structural consultants association, japanese society for the science of design

 

advisor: fujimori terunobu (architect; architectural historian; professor emeritus, the university of tokyo)
curated by: nanjo fumio (director, mori art museum), maeda naotake (manager, architecture and design programs, mori art museum), tokuyama hirokazu (associate curator, mori art museum), kurakata shunsuke (architectural historian; associate professor, graduate school of engineering urban engineering [architecture], osaka city university), ken tadashi oshima (architectural historian; professor, department of architecture, university of washington)
curatorial support: the kagawa museum
exhibition design: mori art museum, kawakatsu shinichi, kudo momoko, motogi daisuke, hashizume so

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