Parallel Nippon Architecture Exhibition at National Gallery


Art is never created in a vacuum. The National Gallery of Zimbabwe recently hosted a Contemporary Japanese Architecture exhibition. Amazing artworks of Japanese architecture were exhibited in the Gallery’s Joseph Ndandarika and Henry Munyaradzi Galleries

Architecture offers an insight into a nation’s regional social circumstances and cultural maturity. The exhibition was a mimic of the Japanese society that has traditionally been typified by wooden structures, elevated slightly off the ground, with tiled or thatched roofs. Termed the Parallel Nippon the Japanese exhibition architecture from 1996 to 2006 underpinned with an accurate picture of Japan’s architectural profession are ten years.

Some of the images depict a Japanese way of life that starts with dwellings, the mosaic basic unit for human subsistence, then expanding to schools, hospitals and various other facilities, to offices and shops, and even further to parks and plazas. Architecture takes up an increasingly vast amounts of time to formulate projects whose construction and use may be understood to relate to that town or regions of social design.

The exhibition was presented in cooperation with the Japan Architectural Institute which is made up of Japanese professional bodies for architects, building engineers, and researchers in architecture. The main thrust of the exhibition was to scrutinize buildings completed on Japanese soil over the last decade as well as buildings realised by Japanese architects elsewhere in the world.

Architectural artworks were grouped respectively into cultural, living and urban spacewhich showcased traditional domestic architecture, the modern era and 19 century that led to the , domestic architectures and the modern era and adapting to international style of modern art..

As the years have progressed, so has Japanese Architecture experienced a paradigm shift from the so called Bubble to Post Bubble economies. Policy making veered away from the twentieth –century expanding city towards a twenty first continuous city model. The move has been to effusively draw upon whatever attributed to the long standing heritage to the pursuit of new direction in value creation.

In Japan, the image of architecture has diverged consummately. In comparisonwith, big brash cultural monuments that aspire to world’s record and stature Japanese region specific communities’ facilitiesare finely attuned to the needs of the elderly and returning native sons instead of city center promenades glittering with foreign brand name boutiques. Local shopping streets actively preserve some of these traditional flavors now and again in counterpoint to high rise urban core development financially centered on foreign investments and venture capital.

Moreso, this exhibition compared and exposed various architectural efforts by four sub thematic sections which are city, life, culture and dwelling. By contrasting architectural designs in relation to this cross sectional view of Japanese society, one gets a more seemingly accurate picture of Japanese Architecture today and a better understanding on the facts shaping diverse agendas and regional governance, technological developments and information.

Architecture is a force that informs society through its focused accumulation of knowledge. Post modernism in Japanese architecture largely coincide with the Bubble era, when the economy lost momentum. Then in 1995 came the devastating Kobe earthquake bringing deconstructive architecture to a halt. Faced with tragedy of streets strewn with rubble and teetering, collapsed buildings, the prospect of brandishing obtuse theory to under write temor as metaphor designs seemed altogether improper.

The prevailing mode of design thereafter returned to simple transparent and Modernism. One of the salient examples of the turnaround was KengoKuma.The so called Post bubble architects born since 1960 met with drastically few jobs as they were embarking on their careers; the ladder of advancement was not availed to them.

Members of the group such as Atelier Bow-Wow and Mikan for instance opted for collective working style rather each assuming the heroic stance of a solitary architecture and due to this have been named Unit School. The Japanese Architecture has witnessed an enormous drastic change over the years.

Parallel Nippon: Contemporary Japanese Architecture exhibition was of inspiration to the Zimbabwean public. It was exemplary not only in terms of the Architecture sector but reveals what the industry can do in a strenuous economic situation. Staging the exhibition at the National Gallery was symbolic of the flow of life through Zimbabwean modus vivendi as it was part and parcel of the parallels presented in the showcase

Moreover, the Contemporary Japanese Architecture named the Parallel Nippon attracted several people for far and wide because of the great mastery of architectural art exhibited by the architects and brought about a wave of inspiration to the public as well as vibrant and endless possibilities with the architectural world. The opening ceremony the event was graced by Japanese ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr. Toshiyuki Iwado.

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