“Japan-ness. Architecture and urbanism in Japan since 1945” at Centre Pompidou-Metz

According to the architect Arata Isozaki, Japanese architecture sets itself apart by the immutability of certain values and by an identity that architects have constantly reinterpreted over the centuries. He characterises this distinctiveness, the common theme of the exhibition, with the expression “Japan-ness”.

 

Junya ISHIGAMI, Atelier KAIT, Institut de technologie de Kanagawa, 2008 © Junya ISHIGAMI © Shokokusha Photographer

Junya ISHIGAMI, Atelier KAIT, Institut de technologie de Kanagawa, 2008 © Junya ISHIGAMI © Shokokusha Photographer

 

The exhibition is based on Centre Pompidou collection, enriched with works and models from architects’ studios, designers, Japanese museums and private collections. This body of works, exhibited for the first time on this scale in Europe, provides a better understanding of the profusion and richness of Japanese architecture and urban design. 


 

Practical information

“Japan-ness. Architecture and urbanism in Japan since 1945”
September 9, 2017 – January 8, 2018
Centre Pompidou-Metz
1, parvis des Droits-de-l’Homme, Metz
France

 


Visitors are immersed in an organic city designed by Sou Fujimoto and move through the cyclical history of Japanese architecture, from the destruction of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, to its most recent expressions.

 

Kiyonori KIKUTAKE, Marine City, uncompleted project, 11 February 1959 Graphite and collage of three photos of modules cropped on tracing paper, 50,5 × 56,5 cm Paris, Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne — Centre de création industrielle © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI/Jean-Claude Planchet/Dist. RMN-GP © Kiyonori Kikutake

Kiyonori KIKUTAKE, Marine City, uncompleted project, 11 February 1959 Graphite and collage of three photos of modules cropped on tracing paper, 50,5 × 56,5 cm Paris, Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne — Centre de création industrielle © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI/Jean-Claude Planchet/Dist. RMN-GP © Kiyonori Kikutake

Arata ISOZAKI, Cities in the air, uncompleted projects, Tokyo, 1960-1963 Collection of Arata ISOZAKI & Associates Co. Ltd.

Arata ISOZAKI, Cities in the air, uncompleted projects, Tokyo, 1960-1963 Collection of Arata ISOZAKI & Associates Co. Ltd.

 

Following a chronological path, from 1945 to the present day, the exhibition is divided into six periods:
– Destruction and rebirth (1945);
– Cities and land (1945-1955);
– The emergence of Japanese architecture (1955- 1965);
– Metabolism, Osaka 1970 and the « new vision » (1965-1975);
– The disappearance of architecture (1975 -1995);
– Overexposed architecture, images and narratives (1995 to the present day).

 

Yutaka MURATA, Pavillon of Fuji Group, Osaka, 1970 © Yutaka MURATA © Osaka Prefectural Expo 1970 Commemorative Park Office

Yutaka MURATA, Pavillon of Fuji Group, Osaka, 1970 © Yutaka MURATA © Osaka Prefectural Expo 1970 Commemorative Park Office

Antonin RAYMOND, Gunma Music Center, Takasaki, 1961 © Collection of Raymond Architectural Design Office

Antonin RAYMOND, Gunma Music Center, Takasaki, 1961 © Collection of Raymond Architectural Design Office

 

 

From the 1950s, a new vision of the city and land took shape influenced by Le Corbusier’s international modernist architecture in particular. With Arata Isozaki and Kenzo Tange, a new Japanese architecture marked by the use of concrete emerged between 1955 and 1965. The Osaka universal exposition in 1970 signalled a decisive turning point with the emergence of trends such as “Metabolism” and “New Vision”, represented by Kisho Kurokawa, Yutaka Murata and Kazumasa Yamashita, who used innovative materials, forms and technologies.

 

Sachio OTANI, Pavillon Sumitomo, Osaka, 1970 © Sachio OTANI © Osaka Prefectural Expo 1970 Commemorative Park Office

Sachio OTANI, Pavillon Sumitomo, Osaka, 1970 © Sachio OTANI © Osaka Prefectural Expo 1970 Commemorative Park Office

Itsuko HASEGAWA, House version 1, Yaizu, 1977 © Itsuko HASEGAWA Photo © Mitsumasa Fujitsuka

Itsuko HASEGAWA, House version 1, Yaizu, 1977 © Itsuko HASEGAWA Photo © Mitsumasa Fujitsuka

 

In the 1980s and 1990s, a generation of influential architects appeared on the international scene. Toyo Ito, Tadao Ando, Shin Takamatsu, Itsuko Hasegawa and Kazuo Shinohara developed “disappearing architecture”, marked by the simplification of forms, the use of metal and experimentation with the indivdual home. The disaster of the Kobe earthquake in 1995 prompted reflection on emergency architecture.

 

Itsuko HASEGAWA, Garden and Fruit museum, Yamanashi, 1996 Photo © Itsuko HASEGAWA

Itsuko HASEGAWA, Garden and Fruit museum, Yamanashi, 1996 Photo © Itsuko HASEGAWA

Yuusuke KARASAWA, s-house, Saitama, 2013 © Yuusuke KARASAWA Photo © Koichi Torimura

Yuusuke KARASAWA, s-house, Saitama, 2013 © Yuusuke KARASAWA Photo © Koichi Torimura

 

 

For some years now, a new generation of architects, recognised with the most prestigious awards, has been working towards an architecture of transparency and a narrative architecture. Shigeru Ban, Kengo Kuma, SANAA and even Sou Fujimoto now embody this drive.

 

SANAA (Kazuyo SEJIMA + Ryue NISHIZAWA), Atelier multimédia, Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences, Oogaki, Gifu, Japan, Scale model, 1996 Plastic and polyester, 46 × 152,5 × 92,5 cm Paris, Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne — Centre de création industrielle © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI/Georges Meguerditchian/Dist. RMN-GP © Kazuyo SEJIMA

SANAA (Kazuyo SEJIMA + Ryue NISHIZAWA), Atelier multimédia, Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences, Oogaki, Gifu, Japan, Scale model, 1996 Plastic and polyester, 46 × 152,5 × 92,5 cm Paris, Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne — Centre de création industrielle © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI/Georges Meguerditchian/Dist. RMN-GP © Kazuyo SEJIMA

SANAA (Kazuyo SEJIMA + Ryue NISHIZAWA), Musée d’Art contemporain du 21e siècle, Kanazawa, 2004 Frac Centre / Les Turbulences © SANAA © FRAC Centre-Val de Loire, François Lauginie

SANAA (Kazuyo SEJIMA + Ryue NISHIZAWA), Musée d’Art contemporain du 21e siècle, Kanazawa, 2004 Frac Centre / Les Turbulences © SANAA © FRAC Centre-Val de Loire, François Lauginie

 

Merely the mention of a few architects’ names, both from the past such as Kenzo Tange, Kisho Kurokawa, Arata Isozaki or Tadao Ando, and contemporary such as Toyo Ito, SANAA (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa), Kengo Kuma, or Shigeru Ban, is enough to
illustrate the strength with which the Japanese architectural scene resonates in the world.

 

Kiyonori KIKUTAKE, Marine City, uncompleted project, 1963 Plexiglas, plaster, glass and metal, 57,1 × 58,5 × 58,5 cm Paris, Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne — Centre de création industrielle © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI/Georges Meguerditchian/Dist. RMN-GP © Kiyonori KIKUTAKE

Kiyonori KIKUTAKE, Marine City, uncompleted project, 1963 Plexiglas, plaster, glass and metal, 57,1 × 58,5 × 58,5 cm Paris, Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne — Centre de création industrielle © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI/Georges Meguerditchian/Dist. RMN-GP © Kiyonori KIKUTAKE

Kengo KUMA, CG Prostho Museum Reasearch Center, Kasugai-shi, Japan : model, 2008-2010 Paris, Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne — Centre de création industrielle © Kengo KUMA & Associates Photo © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMNGrand Palais / Georges Meguerditchian

Kengo KUMA, CG Prostho Museum Reasearch Center, Kasugai-shi, Japan : model, 2008-2010 Paris, Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne — Centre de création industrielle © Kengo KUMA & Associates Photo © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMNGrand Palais / Georges Meguerditchian

 

Until the Japan Architects 1945- 2010 exhibition at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa in 2014, there had been no exhibitions offering a comprehensive picture of  Japanese architecture, either in Japan or international museums. The fascination with the cultural uniqueness of Japanese architecture is due to the extraordinary impact of the metabolism movement which culminated with the creation of the futuristic pavilions of Osaka Expo in 1970.

 

Projet 1000 arbres Paris Sou FUJIMOTO Architects + OXO Architects Cie de Phalsbourg et OGIC

Projet 1000 arbres Paris Sou FUJIMOTO Architects + OXO Architects Cie de Phalsbourg et OGIC

Projet 1000 arbres Paris Sou FUJIMOTO Architects + OXO Architects Cie de Phalsbourg et OGIC

Projet 1000 arbres Paris Sou FUJIMOTO Architects + OXO Architects Cie de Phalsbourg et OGIC

 

Curators: Frédéric Migayrou, Deputy Director of Centre Pompidou – National Museum of Modern Art, Paris, and Head Curator of the Architecture Department. Yuki Yoshikawa, Research and Exhibition Officer, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Associate Curator


 

News source: Centre Pompidou-Metz
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