Renowned architect Sou Fujimoto’s ‘Futures of the Future’ makes for a stunning first exhibition at Japan House; a contemporary addition to High Street Kensington dedicated to showcasing the best of modern Japanese culture. Fresh and relevant, Japan House is set to become a firm favourite for those with an interest (no matter how established) in Japan.
” Futures of the Future explores the innovative works of one of Japan’s most influential contemporary architects “
Held in collaboration with Tokyo’s TOTO Gallery, ‘Futures of the Future’ explores the innovative works of one of Japan’s most influential contemporary architects: Sou Fujimoto. A combination of completed works, works-in-progress and as-of-yet un-commissioned dream projects, ‘Futures of the Future’ is a celebration not only of what has been (and there’s been a lot), but also of what is to come. It’s this intentionally ‘unknown’ aspect that makes the exhibition so captivating and relevant – the perfect fit for Japan House’s opening.
In addition to being visually fascinating, intricate and engaging, the exhibition (and Fujimoto’s philosophy) actively invite the audience to engage in a conversation and imagine a variety of futures of the future. The exhibition’s greatest success is its avoidance of over-reliance on written information; instead, beautifully unique models are used to empower the audience, evoke a sensory reaction and encourage thinking and conversation.
Fujimoto’s work combines a pragmatic outlook on the requirements of ever-evolving modern life with an appreciation of nature and the belief that ‘ultimately architecture will evolve to be something like a forest;’ a space that encourages thought and curiosity. This is reflected through an eclectic combination of nature-inspired, organic shapes, natural materials and an understanding of how forms of nature impact the earth on a functional level.
Wandering around the exhibition, you’re not only met with thought-provoking ideas and, I’m sure for many, a newfound appreciation for the relevance, power, and potential of contemporary architecture, but also a feeling of insight into the creative genius of Sou Fujimoto and his team of architects. The combination of intricate models with images of completed projects in-situ helps you to gain an understanding of the process of designing and constructing a project, ultimately making the exhibition feel more real and relevant, as opposed to being an abstract utopian concept.
Japanese architecture has clearly mastered minimalism which can be seen in their city skylines and even in Anime. Irrespective of your interest in or knowledge of contemporary architecture, Japanese culture (or both) ‘Futures of the Future’ has something to offer all – whether that be in an intellectual or purely visual capacity – and, as a free exhibition, comes highly recommended. Catch it at Japan House, High Street Kensington between 22 June and 5 August 2018.
P.S. Grab an iced matcha from the bar on the way out – they’re delightful.