Variety
8:59 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Arts Rundown: Shinohara Kazuo at Kemper

The Kemper Art Museum is hosting the very interesting “On the Thresholds of Space-Making: Shinohara Kazuo and His Legacy.” The exhibit, which runs through April 20, includes photos, original drawings and sketches. It is the first U.S. museum exhibit on an architect who helped reinvent architecture in Japan.

Shinohara Kazuo, Interior, Repeating Crevice, Ota Ward, Tokyo, 1969-71. Photo by Taki Koji, c. 1971.
Shinohara Kazuo, Interior, Repeating Crevice, Ota Ward, Tokyo, 1969-71. Photo by Taki Koji, c. 1971.
Credit Courtesy of Tokyo Institute of Technology

According to the Kemper website, His slogan “A house is a work of art” encapsulates his belief in the potential of quotidian design. His resistance to a technological approach to architectural design, one that had dominated Japan’s architectural profession since the 1920s, caused him to break away from established forms of the single-family house ubiquitous in Japan’s postwar suburbia.

Comments and glimpses of his work can be seen on a Facebook page. How he is seen is reflected in the assessment of critic Thomas Daniell, A key figure who explicitly rejected Western influences yet appears on almost every branch of the family tree of contemporary Japanese architecture … is Kazuo Shinohara… His effects on the discipline as a theorist, designer and teacher have been immense.

The architect's own view is discussed in his writing the The Yale Architectural Journal, In Tokyo, which has a character resembling neither (New York or Paris), the streets are filled with a chaos of forms and colors. In the typical townscape of Tokyo’s commercial quarters, which could not be described as anything other than chaotic, I find a liveliness which I appreciate. What I appreciate is not the townscape itself but the structure of the chaos which generates the liveliness.  

At 6 p.m. March 28,t he Cannon Design Lecture will be given by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto in the Steinberg Auditorium at Washington University.

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Many galleries hold their openings the first Friday of the month; expect something different from the Fort Gondo arts compound. Opening March 29 are Tuan Nguyen's "harmonica" at Fort Gondo, 3151 Cherokee St., and Dail Chambers' "Itshanapa: A Surreal Sankofa Experience”  in the Beverly, 3155 Cherokee. Both exhibits run through April 19, with the receptions  7-10 p.m. Saturday.

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inspireSTL, The Emerging 100 and The Urban League Young Professionals present: Coffee & Convo: Economics. St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones will lead a conversation on economic growth and sustainability in the city. 7:30-9 a.m. March 28, Chronicle Coffee, 1235 Blumeyer Ave. RSVP

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The exhibit at the Regional Arts Commission 6128 Delmar Blvd. 63112, “Latinicidad: Celebrations of Carnaval in Latin America,” closes Sunday. And it’s going out with a party. Viva Brasil STL will host a Community Carnaval at the gallery from 3-6 p.m. March 30. It “will feature live music, samba, a costume competition, and Brazilian food. Food and drinks will be on sale” and donations will be accepted at the door.

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The African Film Festival at Washington University provides an enlightening and entertaining look at motion pictures that do not get commercial airing in the United States. And admission is free. March 28-March 30 at Brown Hall.

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Meanwhile, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts is providing another opportunity for artists, this time in connection with the science and culture of climate change. Working with Ballroom Marfa and the Public Concern Foundation, it is requesting proposals for Marfa Dialogues / St. Louis (MD / STL).

The event or events will take place July 30-Aug. 3. According to a press release, the effort will “bring together a diverse range of collaborators working in art, design, journalism, science, business, and activism to create new, thought-provoking projects.”

For guildlines and an application, go to pulitzerarts.org. The deadline is April 21.