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A comprehensive celebration of Japanese arts and culture that’s part of the lead-up to next year’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the ongoing Japan Cultural Expo features everything from art exhibitions to performing arts events taking place throughout the country. The expo offers something for everyone, but the vast number of happenings held under its umbrella can make choosing what to see a bit challenging. In this series, we’re checking in with six experts to get an insider’s take on the Japan Cultural Expo events that definitely shouldn’t be missed.
Our second curator is architect Jun Aoki, noted for his work with Louis Vuitton and the man behind the redesign of the recently reopened Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art, where he also serves as director. Aoki’s five picks focus on the twin themes of architecture and Kyoto, which he approaches from the perspective of nature. ‘I feel like the air in Japan is moist, which makes things that are far away appear blurry,’ he says. ‘I think that’s characteristic of nature in this country and something that’s reflected in our architecture, which often relies on asymmetric shapes. I think asymmetry is produced by things appearing and disappearing in the air, which has a sense of depth and impedes the pursuit of symmetry. For me, air is the basis of Japanese aesthetics.’ Find out how Aoki’s theory translates to practice at the five events below.