THE JAPANESE HOUSE Architecture and life since 1945 Between tradition and innovation the interpretation of the home of more than 50 Japanese architects able to tell a whole culture November 9, 2016 – February 26, 2017

In Japan cleared since World War II and economically incapable of designing large public settlements cities are transformed slowly in vital bodies, apparently messy, constantly expanding, in which small single-family houses are being built, demolished and rebuilt unabated. From 9 November 2016 to 26 February 2017, with the exhibition The Japanese House co-produced with Japan Foundation, the Barbican Centre and the Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, MAXXI, aims to tell the centrality of theme of the house in the architecture and in Japanese society through the work of star architects such as Kenzo Tange, Toyo Ito, Kazuyo Sejima and Shigeru Ban, to some of their teachers far less known West, as Seike Shirai, Kazuo Shinohara, Kazunari Sakamoto and a handful of young designers extraordinarily promising.

La mostra nata da una idea di Kenjiro Hosaka e Yoshiharu Tsukamoto è curata da Pippo Ciorra Senior Curator del MAXXI Architettura diretto da Margherita Guccione, in collaborazione con Kenjiro Hosaka (National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo), Florence Ostende (Barbican Centre, London) e la consulenza di Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (Atelier Bow-Wow / Tokyo Institute of Technology).

And ‘the first Italian exhibition dedicated to a theme that has produced some of the most influential and extraordinary examples of modern and contemporary architecture. Subject recurring artistic imagery, film and visual home is also the place in the conceptual which society and Japanese culture bring together two key players in the modernization of country: the tradition, with its system of rules and customs, and the propensity for innovation and research most radical expression.

The Japanese House faces some major issues and provides key aspects of domestic space and Japanese architecture, revealing the richness of expression of these projects and the ability to create more and an unexpected harmony between man, the environment and the building that houses it, urban or natural it is. The first theme is being proposed that the coexistence of traditional and innovation aspects extreme architecture, we see in in Kenzo Tange wooden raw houses but also in several projects explicitly “avant-garde” as the Sky House Kikutake or in the most recent works by SANAA and Toyo Ito.
The second is the continuity of Japanese culture, valid in architecture as in all other fields, we find that continuity between the exterior and the interior of the house, between nature and artifice, between old materials and technologically advanced. The exhibition highlights the bonds built through universities, the studios, the associations between different generations of teachers and students, then become masters. We find in the works of Shirai, Sakamoto, the same Kengo Kuma and many more designers. Finally, the third aspect concerns the role of the domestic space key of access to the entire culture subway and urban metabolism of Japan today, characterized by the silent congestion urban spaces, the link between the imaginary of architects, artists, filmmakers, designers manga, up impenetrable recipe that allows every Japanese designer to mix with innate wisdom Shinto sobriety and Western minimalism, primordial materials and hi-tech, privacy and transparency. you do not can in this way not to be fascinated by the works of Shinoara, to those of Ryue Nishizawa and Sou Fujimoto, as well as from those of their younger followers.

The set, designed by Atelier Bow-Wow in collaboration with MAXXI, tends to play spatial feeling of the buildings presented, in which the functionality is often seen more as a device psychological than practical. Drawings, models, vintage and contemporary photographs along with video, interviews, film clips and manga, works by artists make up the path of the exhibition along with full-scale reproductions of fragments and sections of particularly significant buildings like the House U Toyo Ito, the emergency shelter Shigeru Ban and other essential elements of the Japanese domestic space.

The “non-architectural” materials, such as the works of artists, filmmakers, designers or photographers souls, want more immediate understanding of the relationship between the Japanese inhabitant and their homes and at the same time broaden the visitor’s eye to a broader vision of an infinitely rich and attractive culture but it has often been described in summary fashion, exotic or overly romantic.

Showcasing among others the Takefumi Aida projects, Atelier Bow-Wow, Takamitsu Azuma, dot architects, Go Hasegawa, Itsuko Hasegawa, Hiromi Fujii, Terunobu Fujimori, Sou Fujimoto, Ikimono Architects, Kumiko Inui, Osamu Ishiyama, Toyo Ito, Yuusuke Karasawa, Kiyonori Kikutake, Chie Konno, Kisho Kurokawa, Kiko Mozuna, Hideyuki Nakayama, Kazuhiko Namba, Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA), Keisuke Oka, onishimaki + hyakudayuki architects, Antonin Raymond, Junzo Sakakura, Kazunari Sakamoto, Kazuyo Sejima (SANAA), Kazuo Shinohara, Seiichi Shirai, Kenzo Tange, Tezuka Architects, Riken Yamamoto, Junzo Yoshumira, Takamasa Yoshizaka. The Japanese House opens at the Barbican Centre in London from March 23 to June 25, 2017 and at the Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, in the summer.