On Wednesday, October 5, one of the most notable contemporary architects visited Prague — Kengo Kuma, the Japanese architect whose design for Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium was finally chosen for Tokyo 2020, delivered a lecture at Bethlehem Chapel and also participate in the opening of a monographic exhibition on his works at Jaroslav Fragner Gallery.
“Kengo Kuma: Woven”
October 5 – November 20, 2016
Jaroslav Fragner Gallery
Betlémské nám. 169/5a, Praha,
Colleague architects Mamiya Tanaka from Kuma’s office and Elise Fauquemberge also participated in a student’s workshop from October 1 to 5, designing a pavilion that will be displayed during the opening ceremony on Wednesday.
The exhibition itself, named “woven” will be open from October 6 to November 20 at Jaroslav Fragner Gallery in Prage. On display will be many panels and studio models of over 15 recent project from Kuma’s office (like the new FRAC Marseille, an educational and sports complex in Paris, a Centre for Performing Arts in Granada or a exhibition centre in Chartes).
“In his expressive design of architecture [Kengo Kuma] combines ancient Japanese tradition with modernity: elemental, natural materials complemented with the use of modern technologies. Thanks to the cooperation with FA-CTU and the Japanese embassy, we are glad to present the first exhibition in Central Europe on the work of this exceptional creator,”says Jaroslav Fragner Gallery’s Dan Merta.
The architect himself gave a small introduction on the opening day. “We are planning to release architecture from being a box to being something woven. The 20th Century was an era of concrete, which transformed buildings into boxes that confined people to heavy and dark spaces. By the act of weaving, architecture comes close to clothes. A happy relationship between human bodies and buildings could be restored this way. The Czech are known for their beautiful lacework, so it is particularly significant for us to hold our exhibition about weaving in this country.”
The exhibition shows Kengo Kuma’s approach to architecture: working with traditional Japanese building materials and modern technologies, friendliness and helpfulness to users, drawing inspiration from the nature and specifications of the environment where the project will be implemented and suppressing any tendencies to a violent domination of the built object over the natural order of its surroundings.