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By Andrew Frost
In the mid-1990s Japanese society experienced the first shocks of economic recession in the ‘post-bubble’ period. Real estate prices and stock market values tumbled into what was the called ‘the Lost Decade’. Architecture in Japan had benefitted from the boom, but in recession it needed to find a new way to do things, rethinking the ‘expanding city’ of the 1960s Metabolists as the ‘continuous city’ model that envisions a melding of real and virtual worlds.
The Japan Foundation’s exhibition Parallel Nippon puts the work of leading Japanese architects including Kengo Kuma, Tadao Ando, Kenzo Tange, SANAA and 2013 Pritzker Prize winner Toyo Ito into perspective, charting major works from the decade 1996 to 2006.
The show features photography and video of major projects including SANAA’s 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Taniguchi and Associates Tokyo National Museum and Ito’s Sendai Mediatheque. Divided into four thematic areas – Urban, Life, Culture and Living – the exhibition showcases the forward-looking architects of the recent past, and now in the post-recession recovery of the new decade, Japan offers an enviable alternative to much Western architecture.
Until May 1
Japan Foundation Gallery, Sydney
Pic: Toyo Ito & Associates, Sendai Mediatheque, 2000. Courtesy Japan Foundation Gallery.
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