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The last couple of shows at the Shiodome Museum have been colorful and varied affairs, but the latest exhibition, showcasing Yukio Futagawa’s photos of traditional Japanese houses taken in 1955, strikes a very different note. There is an absence of color and accompanying objects, and in its place a sense of elegant simplicity and focus, in keeping with the subject and the medium.

Designed by rising young architect Sou Fujimoto, the exhibition reproduces large prints of Futagawa’s detailed monochrome photographs and hangs them from wires suspended from the ceiling in an irregular pattern that encourages viewers to randomly browse through them, rather than follow the set route so beloved of exhibitions in Japan. The effect of this is to remove distractions and the conveyor belt pressures that “one route” exhibitions impose on viewers, and thus to encourage deeper concentration on the images themselves.

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