Kurokawa Art Center
by C.B. Liddell
According to architect Kisho Kurokawa, the new National Art Center Tokyo is a perfect expression of his philosophy of symbiosis. Rather than trying to iron out irregularities and resolve contradictions into what he calls a "dull, flat harmony," his distinctly non-Western idea seeks to apply conflicts and tensions in positive ways to achieve interesting and energizing effects.
"One of my intentions with the design was to be fuzzy," Kurokawa explains. "Great art and architecture should be fuzzy. If it is easy to understand, it is functional like a factory. People can say, 'this is the entrance way, this is the exit.' But this is not art. I wanted to create ambiguity and a little bit of confusion. This is what makes people think, or takes them into a maze."
The fuzziness Kurokawa talks about can be seen in the wavy line of the art center's facade. He has created a melodious surface that is, like waves or hills, harmonious but never repetitive. This surface provides the perfect backdrop to a small section of park that has been preserved from the original site.
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National Art Center Tokyo, by Kisho Kurokawa.
Photo: Courtesy Kisho Kurokawa
NACT Main Entrance.
Photo: C.B. Liddell
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