The Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennial

originally published on Spoon & Tamago

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Japan’s presence at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennial. The Venice Architecture Biennial, curated by Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, is organised into themed pavilions from around the world. The Japan Pavilion drew a bustling and curious crowd, including the attention of the President of Singapore!

Commissioned by The Japan Foundation and curated by architecture professor Yoshiyuki Yamana, the Japan Pavilion’s theme is en:art of nexus, contending with the ways architecture can bring positive change to Japan’s current socio-economic troubles beset by recent natural disasters and youth unemployment. In Yamana’s mind, the exhibition’s goal is to present a series of projects that represent individual responses to Japan’s current economic distress, and thus, to suggest a range of solutions that are capable of creating good karma or adjusting preexisting connections in Japanese society.

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If you are interested in learning more about the Pavilion, see if your local library can order En: Art of Nexus, a book dedicated to archiving the exhibition’s various installations and inspirations.

En: art of nexus places special emphasis on the importance of creative sharing, and highlighs a host of young Japanese architects who collaborate in order to recreate architectural motifs in response to the rapid downfall of the Japanese economy.

Hailing from all parts of Japan, participating architecture exhibitors include 403architecture from the coastal city Hamamatsu, mnm from Tokyo/London, and dot architects from Osaka. The Japanese Pavilion was awarded a Special Mention for “bringing the poetry of compactness to alternative forms of collective living in a dense urban setting.”

Pavilions at the Biennial are on show in Venice, Italy until November 27th, 2016.

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The installation includes large-scale architecture mock-ups fabricated using laser-printing, 3D printing, and manual technology.

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Yoshiyuki Yamana, the curator of the Japanese Pavilion, stands at attention in the midst of his collaborative work.
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Representatives from each team of architects involved in the making of the Pavilion.
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