Japan House London Now Open in Kensington

Japan House London - opening on Kensington High Street in summer 2018

With the long-awaited opening of Japan House London last week, we take a look at the upcoming events and exhibitions at London’s newest dedicated cultural space.

Japan House London opened to the public last week on 22 June 2018 as the new, London home for Japanese creativity and innovation.

Through a wide-ranging programme, Japan House London aims to shine a spotlight on the artisans, craftsmen, designers, performers, musicians and other creatives who are making waves in Japan and around the world – from internationally renowned individuals to emerging artists who are excelling in their field. It seeks to provide authentic and surprising encounters with the very best in art, design, gastronomy, innovation and technology, allowing visitors a deeper appreciation of Japanese culture.

One of the ways does this is with a constantly revolving series of exhibitions and events in its dedicated spaces on the lower ground floor. Here, guests can find an exhibition gallery, events space and library, all created with the aim of providing authentic encounters with Japan via an exciting calendar of regularly changing exhibitions and events on a variety of different themes. Let’s take a look at what visitors can expect in the first months after Japan House’s opening.

Sou Fujimoto: Futures of the Future - 22 June - 05 August 2018

Sou Fujimoto

“Creating architecture is like planting seeds of the future” ‒ Sou Fujimoto

The opening exhibition is Sou Fujimoto: Futures of the Future 藤本壮介 未来の未来, held in collaboration with Tokyo’s TOTO GALLERY・MA. Seen for the first time in the UK, the exhibition explores the innovative works of one of Japan’s most influential contemporary architects. 

Fujimoto’s vision of the future is not a fully imagined set of assumptions but rather the act of planting the seeds of inspiration and potential. Linking to the London Festival of Architecture, the exhibition will present Fujimoto’s philosophical and sustainable approach to architecture. It will look at not only his current projects but also his architectural experiments for the future, inviting visitors to share in imagining a variety of ‘futures of the future’.

In addition, Fujimoto also presents Architecture is Everywhere, which illustrates the concept of discovering architecture within the forms of everyday objects and the serendipity of finding numerous possibilities for new architecture. 

About Sou Fujimoto

Born in Hokkaido in 1971 and a graduate of the University of Tokyo, Department of Architecture, Sou Fujimoto established Sou Fujimoto Architects in 2000. Some of his most notable works include Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2013, House NA (2011), Musashino Art University Museum & Library (2010), Final Wooden House (2008) and House N (2008).
 
Other forthcoming exhibitions include The Biology of Metal: Metal Working from Tsubame Sanjo (September – October 2018), Subtle: Takeo Paper Show (November – December 2018), directed by leading Japanese designer and overall Creative Director of the Japan House Project HARA Kenya, and Prototyping in Tokyo (January – February 2019).
 

Japan House Library

Library Haba Yoshitaka
 
Another standout feature of Japan House is its Library, which will feature a changing programme of themed book displays throughout the year. The Library offers visitors a new approach to appreciate and engage with books, both through the way the books are displayed and through bookshelf exhibitions curated by Yoshitaka Haba of BACH. A book specialist in Japan, Haba is revolutionizing the way books are displayed and curated, helping bookstores in Japan successfully champion paper books in the digital era. 

The first themed Library display, Nature of Japan (June - August 2018), looks at Japan’s natural world, and features original photographs by leading Japanese photographer Risaku Suzuki. The display exhibits artworks and design products alongside photograph albums, vintage books, paintings, novels, poetry and picture books. 

The second Library exhibition Mingei (September - November 2018) will be themed around Japan’s mingei folk art movement that developed from the late 1920s. The Library exhibitions will showcase Haba’s signature style and approach of presenting books old and new alongside other media such as paintings, novels, poetry and photograph albums.

About Yoshitaka Haba

Yoshitaka Haba is a Book Director and representative of BACH, as well as an associate lecturer at Waseda University and Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. In order to create opportunities for people to have greater access to books and pick up unknown books, Haba produces shop floors, library displays and reading areas that connect book stores and different industries.

His recent works include Wacoal Study Hall Kyoto (a venue that comprises a school, library, gallery and co-working space), ISETAN The Japan Store Kuala Lumpur, and Japan House São Paulo. Haba is a book connoisseur, his love of books going beyond book curation to include writing and editing. 

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