Public Lecture #31 – Japan-ness in Architecture

In “The Mask and the Truth of Japanese Architecture” we discussed about MoMA’s Exhibition: A Japanese Constellation, focusing on 7 individuals revolving mainly around Toyo Ito.

At the end of the session we discovered many important figures who might form/set the another Japanese Constellation which is different than moma exhibition. This lecture will trace the meaning if Japanese architecture one by one.

To know about Japan-ness in Architecture, Arata Isozaki identified what essentially is “Japan” in architecture from the seventh to the twentieth century. Isozaki analyzes struggles of modern Japanese architects in creating something uniquely Japan out of modernity. Then, he circles back in history to find what he calls Japan-ness of the seventh-century Ise shrine, reconstruction of the twelfth-century Todai-ji Temple, and the seventeenth-century Katsura Imperial Villa. Chimerical events lead Japan to protect themselves from pressures of foreign cultures and then construct Japan’s national identity.

Isozaki found Japanese aesthetic often to be the opposite of that essential Japan-ness which was conceived in moments of historic self-definition; the purified act of defining style—what Isozaki calls “Japanesquization”—lacks the energy of cultural transformation and reflects an island of retrenchment in response to the pressures of other cultures. He stated the time had come when we were able to view Japan-ness from a much more meaningful distance.

The lecture will be brought by Realrich Sjarief and Gregorius Giovanni Gerard.

Realrich Sjarief graduated from ITB, worked for Norman Foster upon establishing RAW Architecture. He is currently advisor of OMAH.

Gregorius Giovanni Gerard is the lead librarian of Omah. He graduated from Tarumanagara University. He was former journalist of SKETSA Magazine. Currently, he worked as junior architect at tekturaworkshop and librarian at OMAH.

The lecture is on Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 at 10.00AM

at OMAH Library
Taman Amarilis F2/15-16
Taman Villa Meruya
West Jakarta

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