Japan Pavilion Venice Biennale 2021 Event, Kadowaki Kozo Architecture Design Exhibition Italy

Japan Pavilion Venice Biennale 2021 News

13 + 12 May 2021

La Biennale di Venezia 2021 – The Japan Pavilion

The Japan Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition

Axonometric drawing of the concept:
Japan Pavilion Venice Biennale 2021
picture © DDAA + village

May 11, 2021

La Biennale di Venezia

Co-ownership of Action: Trajectories of Elements

The Japan Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia presents “Co-ownership of Action: Trajectories of Elements,” curated by Kadowaki Kozo. The project involves dismantling an old wooden house into its individual parts and elements, transporting them to Venice, and reconstructing the house in a new configuration with the addition of modern materials (such as scaffolding pipe, mesh, and blue tarps). The architects working on the project are collaborating with artisans and researchers to include improvisation and creative processes on site as part of the exhibition.

Japanese house before dismantling:
Japan Pavilion Venice Biennale 2021
picture © Jan Vranovský

The issue of incessant mass consumption in contemporary society has been further intensified by movement, the ability to move large volumes of things quickly and inexpensively. Moving a postwar house that has outlived its usefulness in Japan to Venice and exhibiting it in a different context gives a completely new existence to the old materials that had once been part of a very ordinary house. By shifting the focus from movement for the purpose of consumption to movement for the purpose of reconstruction, the exhibition provides a significant stimulus for thinking about the issues associated with mass consumption, about the sustainability of architecture, and about how new architecture should be approached.

Portrait of Curator Kozo Kadowaki:
Curator Kozo Kadowaki
picture © Shinto Takeshi

Basic information

Title: Co-ownership of Action: Trajectories of Elements
Commissioner: The Japan Foundation (JF)
Curator: Kozo Kadowaki

Participants

Architects: Jo Nagasaka / Ryoko Iwase / Toshikatsu Kiuchi / Taichi Sunayama / Daisuke Motogi
Designer: Rikako Nagashima

Collaborators

Researchers:
Norimasa Aoyagi / Aya Hiwatashi / Naoyuki Matsumoto / Tetsu Makino / Building System Design Laboratory at Meiji University
(Kozo Kadowaki, Makoto Isono, Kimihito Ito)

Editor: Jiro Iio
Advisor: Kayoko Ota
Photo: Jan Vranovský
Video: Hirofumi Nakamoto

Exhibition Design | Schemata Architects (Jo Nagasaka, Sanako Osawa , Yuhei Yagi) / Studio IWASE |
Architecture+Landscape (Ryoko Iwase, Kaoru Endo, Musashi Makiyama) / sunayama studio+Toshikatsu Kiuchi Architect
(Taichi Sunayama, Toshikatsu Kiuchi, Risako Okuizumi, Takuma Shiozaki, Kei Machida, Zu Architects) / DDAA (D aisuke Motogi, Riku Murai)
Graphic Design | village® (Rikako Nagashima, Kohei Kawaminami, Hiroyuki Inada)
Structural Engineering | TECTONICA (Yoshinori Suzuki, Kakeru Tsuruta) / Mitsuhiro Kanada Studio at Tokyo University of the Arts (Mitsuhiro Kanada) / yasuhirokaneda STRUCTURE (Yasuhiro Kaneda)
Exhibition Construction | TANK (Naritake Fukumoto, Ai Noguchi, Takashi Arai) / Takahiro Kai / Tsuguhiro Komazaki /
Takashi Takamoto / Masayasu Fujiwara / Mauro Pasqualin / Pieter Jurriaanse / Paolo Giabardo / Valentino Pascolo / Jacopo
David / Tommaso Rampazzo
Fabrication Cooperation|So Sugita Lab at Hiroshima Institute of Technology
Local Coordinator | Harumi Muto
Exhibition Design Management | associates (Kozo Kadowaki, Akiko Kadowaki)
With special support of: Ishibashi Foundation
Sponsored by: Stroog Inc. / JINS Holdings Inc. / Suikoukai Medical Corporation, Japan / KAMAWANU CO., LTD. / Window
Research Institute
In cooperation with: under design Co., Ltd. / IWASAKI ELECTRIC CO., LTD. / NBC Meshtec Inc. / KUMONOS Corporation /
DAIKO ELECTRIC CO., LTD. / Japan 3D Printer Co., Ltd HAGIHARA INDUSTRIES INC. / Rotho Blaas
Venue | The Japan Pavilion at the Giardini (Padiglione Giappone, Giardini della Biennale, Castello 1260, 30122 Venezia)
Exhibition period | 22 May to 21 November, 2021
Pre-opening|20 and 21 May, 2021
Website | https://vba2020.jp/

Image drawing (garden):
Japan Pavilion Venice Biennale 2021
picture © DDAA + village

About the Commissioner

The Japan Foundation is Japan’s only institution dedicated to carrying out comprehensive international cultural exchange
programs throughout the world. The Japan Foundation was established in October 1972 as a special legal entity supervised by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In October 2003, it was reorganized as an incorporated administrative agency. The Japan
Foundation has a 25 overseas offices in 24 countries, to cultivate friendship and ties between Japan and the world, the Japan
Foundation creates global opportunities to foster friendship, trust, and mutual understanding through culture, language, and
dialogue.

Packaged wooden materials:
Japan Pavilion Venice Biennale 2021
picture © Jan Vranovský

The Japan Pavilion Venice Biennale 2021 Curator’s statement

Curator’s statement

Your actions are not yours alone. Any act, however trivial, sits atop an accumulation of countless acts that arose from your
interactions with someone else. Therefore it can never be said that what you do belongs solely to you.

This exhibition consists of an extremely ordinary Japanese wooden house. A country at the forefront of the world in
population decline, Japan is awash in houses that have outlived their usefulness and sit there awaiting demolition. The house
we shipped to Venice is one of them.

Image drawing (piloti):
Japan Pavilion Venice Biennale 2021
picture © DDAA + village

However, the house did not arrive in Venice intact. Having been dismantled to fit into containers for shipping, its various
elements found new uses, repurposed into objects and structures appropriate for the garden of the Japan Pavilion, with roof
elements being converted into benches, and so on. To reassemble the fragmented house on site into diverse configurations,
the architects have engaged the skills and ideas of local and Japanese artisans, giving new life to each of the elements.

Elements that were not used in the garden are on display inside the Pavilion itself, which serves as a warehouse for the
project. After its initial construction, the house underwent numerous renovations and expansions over the years that altered it in
complex ways. Arranging its elements by era thus provides a clear picture of how the house contains the strata of successive
periods in the history of postwar Japanese housing. For example, the earliest elements were primarily handmade, but as time
progressed these were replaced by mass-produced members, a visible manifestation of the dramatic changes that took place
in Japan’s construction industry over the course of the life of the house.

Upon viewing this thick accumulation of strata with one’s own eyes, it should be evident that the project architects have
done only the slightest overwriting of that history. The trajectory that the house has taken in its long journey through time and
space to arrive at this place is proof of how our actions are ineluctably rooted in the past and linked to the future.
Kadowaki Kozo

Image drawing (interior):
Japan Pavilion Venice Biennale 2021
picture © DDAA + village

The Japan Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia 2021 Curator

Kozo Kadowaki

Kozo Kadowaki (b.1977, Kanagawa) is an architect and architectural theorist who
holds a Ph.D. in Engineering. He is an Associate Professor at Meiji University, and
practices architecture with his firm Associates. He graduated with a Masters from
Tokyo Metropolitan University in 2001, where he also worked as a Research Associate
and later as Assistant Professor.

In 2012 he established his own architectural firm
Associates. He currently serves as Editorial Chair of the Meiji University Press, with
teaching positions at Tokyo University of the Arts and Japan Women’s University. While
specializing in building systems design, he continues to engage in various activities and
projects related to architectural criticism and design. He also works to develop his own
architectural theories that are rooted in the physical elements of architecture.

Pre-opening

In advance of being opened to the general public, private viewings at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition will be held for
people involved in the event and the press on Thursday, May 20 and Friday, May 21, 2021. There are currently no plans to hold
an opening reception at the Japan Pavilion.

Japan Pavilion official website
https://www.jpf.go.jp/e/project/culture/exhibit/international/venezia-biennale/arc/17/index.html

Japan Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Co-ownership of Action: Trajectories of Elements

Updates

When the exhibition was delayed for a year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, curator Kozo Kadowaki and others
launched a new curator-organized project associated with the Japan Pavilion exhibition.

The aim was to 1) make good use of materials and elements after the Biennale, and 2) provide new ways for people to
participate in the exhibition. This was achieved through an upcycle project to create products using materials such as
wood from the house being transported to Venice, making the products available to project supporters through a
crowdfunding process that facilitated a new way of participating in the exhibition and the addition of new trajectories.

After the exhibition, the house will move on again. There are plans in motion for it to be used as part of a community
facility for residents of an apartment complex in the suburbs of Oslo. Funds raised by crowdfunding will also play a
significant part in this and other post-Biennale initiatives.

The crowdfunding process was launched on August 11, 2020, and closed on October 1, 2020 after raising 4,825,888
yen from 259 supporters.
Find out more: https://www.vba2020.jp/en/crowdfunding/

Outline of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

Dates: May 22 (Sat) – November 21 (Sun), 2021 10:00~18:00 Closed on Mondays
Tickets: Regular 25 euro
Venues: Giardini di Castello, Arsenale, and various other venues
Director: Hashim Sarkis
Theme: How will we live together?
Official Website: http://www.labiennale.org

Awards

At the 13th(2012) International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
[Golden Lion for National Participation]
Japan Pavilion Commissioner: Toyo Ito,
Exhibitors: Kumiko Inui, Sou Fujimoto, Akihisa Hirata (Architects), Naoya Hatakeyama (Photographer)
At the 15th(2016) International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
[Special Mention]
Japan Pavilion Curator: Yoshiyuki Yamana,
Exhibitors: Seiichi Hishikawa, mnm (Mio Tsuneyama), Osamu Nishida+Erika Nakagawa (Osamu Nishida, Erika
Nakagawa), Naruse Inokuma Architects (Jun Inokuma, Yuri Naruse), Naka Architects’ Studio (Toshiharu Naka, Yuri Uno),
Nousaku Architects (Fuminori Nousaku, Junpei Nousaku), miCo. (Mizuki Imamura, Isao Shinohara), Levi Architecture (Jun
Nakagawa), Shingo Masuda+Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects (Shingo Masuda, Katsuhisa Otsubo), Koji Aoki Architects (Koji
Aoki), 403architecture [dajiba] (Takuma Tsuji, Takeshi Hashimoto, Toru Yada), BUS (Satoru Ito, Kosuke Bando, Issei
Suma), dot architects (Toshikatsu Ienari, Takeshi Shakushiro, Wataru Doi)
Japan Pavilion archive website (June 1, 2021~)
https://www.venezia-biennale-japan.jpf.go.jp/e/
Supplementary materials: 2

Japan Pavilion Venice Biennale 2021 images / information received 120521

Location: Giardini della Biennale, Castello 1260, 30122 Venezia, Italia

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