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Japan Society Gallery Presents Made in Tokyo: Architecture and Living, 1964/2020

New York, September 9 — Japan Society Gallery is pleased to present Made in Tokyo: Architecture and Living, 1964/2020, a landmark exhibition featuring the shifting socio-architectural landscape of Tokyo between the 1964 and 2020 Summer Games. With the upcoming Tokyo-hosted international sports event as its catalyst, Made in Tokyo explores the city’s distinct architectural language, developed through the history of last fifty-five years. The Japanese architectural firm Atelier Bow-Wow, founded by Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto in 1992, takes on dual roles as curator and exhibition designer, conceiving an exhibition which responds to the critical role of architecture in structuring society, its effect on people’s lives, and presents the transformation of this mega-city through experiences of its social, economic and political development.

The 1964 Summer Games facilitated unprecedented growth in the postwar era that witnessed the rapid development of new infrastructure and re-established Japan as a nation of peace and prosperity on the global stage. Closely looking at the architecture of public and private spaces and its continual impact on the people in Tokyo, Made in Tokyo examines six categories of architectural facilities—stadium, station, retail, capsule, office, and home—from both 1964 and 2020.

This exhibition showcases a vast range of multimedia and interactive elements that explore Tokyo’s transformation, including a life-size capsule hotel pod model and a virtual tour of Tokyo’s characteristic architecture led by Atelier Bow-Wow. The exhibition design captures the international spirit of the Games that sparked the reinvigoration of Tokyo with flags lining the gallery ceilings. The curved walls, inspired by the ovular shape of athletic stadiums, create a partial separation between images of the past and present that also allows for contextualization through proximity and comparison.

The exhibition also features rare archival drawings and photographs from over 30 architectural firms and private and public collections—highlights include original 1960s drawings by Kenzo Tange from the Harvard University archive and a model of Kengo Kuma’s New National Stadium, which is currently under construction for the 2020 Games. This assemblage of rare photographs and works on paper from esteemed international collections provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience these master works in the same place.

Post WWII Tokyo also saw the emergence of radical art collectives that generated art and performance with critical and deep insight into the socio-political condition. Groups such as the Hi Red Center used the urban environment as their canvas, staging happenings that raised questions about centralized authority and the role of the individual in society. Both historical and contemporary art works, video and documentations of such performances will be on display in the exhibition.

Made in Tokyo traces the significant societal and fiscal changes of Tokyo over the last half-century, including the shaping of metropolitan life and urban spaces through periods of economic growth in the 1970s; the bubble economy of the 1980s, which markedly affected property values; and the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake which critically altered the population's collective psyche. The exhibition traces these transformative events through the response of development of Tokyo’s architecture.

“Post-1946 recovery and the Tokyo 1964 Summer Games was the trigger that facilitated the improvement of Tokyo’s infrastructure and dramatically changed the landscape. Japan has produced innovative architects through the radical transformation of the capital. Tokyo is still changing in advance of the 2020 Games. Architects today respond differently to social issues and explore new directions with their creative visions of addressing ecology and sustainability.” says Yukie Kamiya, Director of Japan Society Gallery. Atelier Bow-Wow remarks, “In the 1960s—15 years after the end of World War II, Japan grew with great productivity and enthusiasm, various urban institutions were created and young architects were allowed to creatively contribute to diverse architectural designs. Now, in contrast to those times, there is an incentive for large capital and organizations towards mass-redevelopment. Through this tremendous turnover of city spaces and transitions of urban institutions we will showcase the evolution of life in the city of Tokyo.”

Made in Tokyo is organized by Japan Society, guest curated by Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of Atelier Bow-Wow in collaboration with Yukie Kamiya, Japan Society Gallery Director. Exhibition design by Atelier Bow-Wow (Momoyo Kaijima, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Yoichi Tamai and Andrei Savescu.) Selection of artworks is with assistance from Nina Horisaki-Christens.

NOTES TO EDITORS

ABOUT ATELIER BOW-WOW
Atelier Bow-Wow is a Tokyo-based architecture firm founded in 1992 by Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto. Their interest lies in diverse fields ranging from architectural design, public space design to urban research, which are produced, based on the theory called “behaviorology”.

They have designed and built houses, public and commercial buildings in Tokyo, as well as in Europe and the United States. Their urban research studies lead to the experimental project called 'micro-public-space', a new concept of the public space, which has been exhibited across the world.

Atelier Bow-Wow’s works are produced from the concept “architectural behaviorology”. The word “behavior” includes that of human and also building, as well as natural elements such as light, air, heat, wind and water. “Architectural behaviorology” investigates these behaviors and aims to synthesize them to optimize their performance in its specific context. It focuses the repetitive, rhythmical, shareable aspects of behavior, and sifts the architectural design from individuality based into commonality based.

Kaijima is an associate professor at University of Tsukuba and a professor of Architectural Behaviorology at ETH Zurich. Tsukamoto is a professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology. He has also been a visiting professor at various institutions including Harvard GSD and GSAPP Columbia University.

ABOUT JAPAN SOCIETY GALLERY
Since 1971, Japan Society Gallery continues to be the premier institution in the United States for the display and interpretation of Japanese art and culture. Through groundbreaking exhibitions and related programs, the Gallery cultivates a broader understanding and appreciation of Japan’s contributions to global artistic heritage; explores the artistic interconnections Japan shares with its Asian neighbors, the U.S., Latin America, and Europe; and celebrates the diversity of Japanese visual expression from prehistoric times to the present day.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society in New York City presents sophisticated, topical and accessible experiences of Japanese art and culture, and facilitates the exchange of ideas, knowledge and innovation between the U.S. and Japan. More than 200 events annually encompass world-class exhibitions, dynamic classical and cutting-edge contemporary performing arts, film premieres and retrospectives, workshops and demonstrations, tastings, family activities, language classes, and a range of high-profile talks and expert panels that present open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia.

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Media Contacts:
Elle Moody, Sutton
elle@suttonpr.com, 212-202-3402

Michele Debreceni, Japan Society
mdebreceni@japansociety.org, 212-715-1228

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