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  • Le Corbusier and the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
    In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the National Museum of Western Art
  • 4 June 2009 – 30 August 2009
  • Venue: National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo

    Organizers: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo

    Sponsor: EPSON

    In Cooperation with: AIR FRANCE, Western Art Foundation

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, in Ueno Park in Tokyo in 1959 (Shôwa 34) as the institution for the housing and public display of the Matsukata Collection, returned to the Japanese people by the French government. This small exhibition focuses on the museum’s Main Building, designed by the French architect Le Corbusier (1887-1965). The construction of the Main Building was completed under the supervision of three Japanese architects who studied under Le Corbusier, namely Junzo Sakakura, Kunio Mayekawa, and Takamasa Yoshizaka, and is the only building designed by Le Corbusier in Japan. Further, the Main Building stands as one of the three actually realized museums that were based on Le Corbusier’s “Museum of Unlimited Extension” concept. Through its display of photographs and documents, this exhibition traces the building's role as the proof of Le Corbusier’s reception in Japan, and as the starting point of postwar Japanese –French cultural exchange. Further, twelve plans, sketches and models by Le Corbusier reveal his intentions and concept for the Main Building. These works will be displayed in two of the museum’s Permanent Collection Galleries. We hope that visitors to the exhibition will enjoy strolling around the Main Building itself, and that the exhibition will further deepen their understanding of this space created by Le Corbusier.

Related Programs (In Japanese Only)

A: Lectures

This lecture series will consider the NMWA Main Building and Le Corbusier himself from various angles.

Saturday 6 June 14:00 - 15:30
Yoshiyuki Yamana (Associate Professor, Tokyo University of Science)
"Le Corbusier's “Museum of Unlimited Extension” Concept: From the Mundanaeum to The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo"
Saturday 13 June 14:00 - 15:30
Kazuyo Sejima (Architect)
"Le Corbusier's Museums and Art Museum Architecture" canceled
Saturday 20 June 14:00 - 15:30
Hiroshi Matsukuma (Professor, Kyoto Institute of Technology)
"Le Corbusier and Modern Japanese Architecture"
Saturday 27 June 14:00 - 15:30
Misa Hayashi (Curator, Galerie Taisei)
"Le Corbusier's Walls"
Saturday 4 July 14:00 - 15:30
Makoto Yokomizo (Architect)
"The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo and Ueno Park"

*NB: Lecturer and lecture title is subject to change.

B: Architectural Tours (by prior application, on a first-come, first-served basis)

Tours focusing on the NMWA Main Building and the various special aspects of Le Corbusier's architecture.

Dates and times:
Saturday 18 July, Saturday 25 July, Saturday 8 August, Saturday 22 August
10:30 – 12:00 each day
Tour guides:
Yoshiyuki Yamana (Associate Professor, Tokyo University of Science), Hiroshi Matsukuma (Professor, Kyoto Institute of Technology)
Target audience:
High school students and older
Number of participants:
15 per tour
Participation fee:
Free of charge
Application numbers:
B-1 (18 July)fully booked, B-2 (25 July)fully booked, B-3 (8 August)fully booked, B-4 (22 August)fully booked
C. Experiential and Creative Programs (by prior application, on a first-come, first-served basis)
"When Nobody is There: Focusing on museum architecture when the museum is closed"

It's the museum, but something seems different! Let's turn our attention to the architecture, on a day when the museum is closed, and no-one is around.

Date and times:
Monday 17 August, Session a: 9:00 - 12:00, Session b: 14:00-17:00
*Same content in both sessions.
Lecturer:
Ryota Atarashi (Photographer)
Target audience:
Middle school students
Number of participants:
15 per session
Participation fee:
Free of charge
Application numbers:
C-1a, C-1b
"Try to Make This! A Life-Sized House" fully booked

First, look for a space in the museum that is comfortable for you, for your own body. Then, challenge yourself to create a house based on your own body, your own "life-size." Finally, let's take the houses we have built out into the Museum's garden and enjoy tea.

Dates and times:
Thursday 13, Friday 14 August, 10:00 – 17:00
Lecturer:
Akira Suzuki (Architect and professor, Graduate School of Kobe Design University)
Target audience:
High school students
Number of participants:
15 (can participate on both days)
Participation fee:
Free of charge
Application numbers:
C-2
D Lecture Concert  (fee applies, tickets on sale starting Saturday 23 May)
Le Corbusier and The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo

This concert will take place in the Main Building, the realization of Le Corbusier's “Museum of Unlimited Extension” concept. The first part of the event will be a concert where visitors can experience music in this setting. The event will then move to the Special Exhibitions Wing Lobby (B2F), where the second part of the event will feature famous tunes from Le Corbusier's era, such as Kreisler, as played on five marimbas.

Dates and times:
Tuesday 23 June 18:00 – 20:00
Wednesday 24 June 18:00 – 20:00
*Same program on both days.
Number of participants:
50 each day
Fee:
1,500 yen
Tickets on sale at the NMWA Information Desk starting on Saturday 23 May.
Planning, lecture:
Keiko Takii (Guest Professor, Tokyo University of the Arts)
Performance by:
Takafumi Fujimoto (Associate professor, Tokyo University of the Arts), and the Quint Marimba Ensemble (Sao Aoki, Hiromi Shinoda, Ayane Kume, Misa Makino)
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