Building future cities from grains of sand

Sep 15, 2011

Building future cities from grains of sand

As the last of the debris is cleared from the Great East Japan Earthquake and plans are drawn up to reconstruct the devastated towns and communities, architects and planners are pondering not just to how replace what was lost, but how to improve upon ...

'Dominique Perrault: Urban Landscape'

| Dec 10, 2010

'Dominique Perrault: Urban Landscape'

Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery Closes Dec. 26 The work of French architect Dominique Perrault is currently on show at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery. Today numbered among the top tier of French architects alongside Jean Nouvel and Christian de Portzamparc, Perrault shot ...

Looking beyond art's boundaries

Nov 26, 2010

Looking beyond art's boundaries

Art, it is often said, is a lens through which to see the world differently. “Differently” could mean more intensely, or more clearly, or in a new and unfamiliar way. This inevitably requires a separation between the artwork and the world. Art so understood ...

Perceptions of space, from Japan to the world

| Aug 27, 2010

Perceptions of space, from Japan to the world

“I’m a kind of iguana. But I’m the kind of iguana that travels.” So says architect Ryue Nishizawa, one half of SANAA, the creative partnership he shares with Kazuyo Sejima, about the “Galapagos Syndrome” — the term used to describe Japan’s relative isolation from ...

In search of society's true affluence

Aug 20, 2010

In search of society's true affluence

“When I was 40, my father died. When he died, he was working on a project for a children’s campground on the island of Naoshima. When I returned from Tokyo to Okayama to lead the family company, I inherited the project. As I lived ...

Structure as natural philosophy

Jan 29, 2010

Structure as natural philosophy

“Cecil Balmond is seen as being almost divine in Japan,” says Shino Nomura, the curator of the latest exhibition at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery. Titled “Element: Cecil Balmond,” the show is a dive into the mind and work of perhaps the most celebrated ...

Bathing in timeless memories

Aug 28, 2009

Bathing in timeless memories

Artist Shinro Ohtake discusses with The Japan Times “inside-out” buildings, private memories, public meanings and other inspirations underlying the “I Love Yu” bathhouse at Naoshima. The “I Love Yu” public bathhouse is a collaboration with architects’ collective graf and is a new building, but ...

Escape from propaganda

Jul 31, 2009

Escape from propaganda

Artist, architect, designer, photographer, curator, writer, editor, activist — Ai Weiwei is many things. This multiplicity of means all serve a united end that centers on the existential question: What does human freedom mean in China today? “According to What?” a major solo exhibition ...

An exhibition's critical charge

Feb 20, 2009

An exhibition's critical charge

“In Japan, the city consists of parts perfect in themselves, but lacking a sense of or connection to the whole,” observes curator Shino Nomura while discussing the work of Swiss architectural firm Diener & Diener. Nomura sees the larger goal of the exhibition he’s ...

Venice Biennale's theme won't stop the rain

Oct 9, 2008

Venice Biennale's theme won't stop the rain

‘Architecture is not building.” That’s the mildly provocative premise of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, “Out There: Architecture Beyond Building,” which runs till Nov. 23. Although outspent by the Venice Art Biennale and outshone by the Venice Film Festival, the architecture event in Venice ...