Kuma Kengo: Five Purr-fect Points for a New Public Space

Kuma Kengo_ Five Purr-fect Points for a New Public Space banner photo

Kuma Kengo (b. 1954) is one of Japan’s leading contemporary architects, with projects including the design museum V&A Dundee, selected as one of Time magazine’s “The World’s 100 Greatest Places of 2019,” and participation in the design of Japan National Stadium, scheduled to serve as the main venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

This exhibition features 68 designs selected from among Kuma’s projects worldwide, with a focus on those of a highly public nature, categorized according to five principles that Kuma has conceived – “hole,” “particles,” “oblique,” “softness,” and “time” – and presented in the form of models, photographs, and mockups. Another 74 exhibits, including video works and a mobile home displayed in front of the museum, will immerse viewers in Kuma’s vision. All texts introducing sections of the exhibition and individual works were written by Kuma himself.

In addition, video pieces have been commissioned from cutting-edge contemporary artists such as Takimoto Mikiya, Fujii Hikaru, and the McGloughlin Brothers, creating an environment that illuminates Kuma’s architecture from a variety of perspectives. There will also be a 360-degree VR simulation that allows people to experience interior spaces, and a presentation of the results of “A Plan for Tokyo, 2020: Five Purr-fect Points for Feline Architecture,” a research project that reinterprets the urban environment from the perspective of cats. The organizers’ hope is that this exhibition, which will take place during a time of numerous challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis, will offer valuable opportunities to think in new ways about public space and the future of the city.