EN: art of nexus – Japan at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale

Place: Venice, Italy
Curator: Yoshiyuki Yamana Deputy Curators: Seiichi Hishikawa, Masaki Uchino, Masatake Shinohara
Commissioner / Organizer: The Japan Foundation

All photos © Inexhibit, 2016


Japanese pavilion in the Biennale’s Gardens, photo © Inexhibit, 2016

EN: art of nexus – Japanese Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale

Differently from other more “conceptual” ones, the exhibition in the Japanese pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale is quite traditional in its layout and clearly focused on built architecture.

The exhibition, curated by Yoshiyuki Yamana from the Tokyo University of Science, presents a series of projects, mostly residential, which collectively illustrate the changes and challenges which are interesting the Japanese society and its relationship with architecture.



The installation on the ground floor of the Japanese pavilion. Photo © Inexhibit, 2016

The starting point is the subterranean contradictions which characterize Japan since the early 2000s, which include a growing unemployment rate, especially for young people, increasing social inequality, and a diffused disillusion about the optimistic vision of the future which had characterized a country that experienced spectacular growth and modernization for at least four decades in a row, after the end of the World War Two.

Yet, such a problematic situation is also fostering a novel approach to the relationship among people and between people and architecture. Hence, the curator has chosen to present the work of a new generation of younger Japanese architects which is investigating how architecture could be an instrument to re-create a social network, based on solidarity, as opposed to the diktats of an intransigent neoliberalism. Neoliberalism which many Japanese now identify with dramatic events such as the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Therefore, all the architectures presented focus on the idea of sharing values, resources, and lifestyles, as opposed to the selfish approach to life and society encouraged by the principle of social competition. The title of the exhibition, EN (縁), is indeed a Japanese word meaning both “relationship” and “opportunity”.

mnm (Mio Tsuneyama), ondesign (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)


Mizuki Imamura, Isao Shinohara, House at Komazawa Park

Umaki Camp dot architects Japan pavilion Venice Biennale 2016 Inexhibit

dot architects, Umaki Park



Naka Architects, Apartments with a small restaurant


Osamu Nishida, Erika Nakagawa, Yokohama Apartments

House Takaoka Nousaku Architects Japan Venice Biennale 2016 Inexhibit

Nousaku Architects, Guest house in Takaoka


15A House, Levi Architecture

All photos © Inexhibit, 2016

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Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 – Reporting from the Front – INDEX

Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 – Reporting from the Front – INDEX

Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 – Reporting from the Front – INDEX

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