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Keith Haring Collection in Jomon Forest, Kagoshima, Japan

Monday 22 Sep 2008

Art coexisting with nature

Takumi Ota 
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Atsushi Kitagawara Architects house the contemporary Keith Haring collection whilst not disturbing its historical surroundings 

This 18,500 sq m project is located in Kobuchizawa, at the foot of Japan’s Yatsugatake mountains where there have been many excavations from the Jomon Period (4000-5000 B.C.). The remains prove that the land is full of energy and has been a venue of civilization for many centuries. The art of Keith Haring in NY and the nature in Kobuchizawa seem to be mutually exclusive. However, they share ‘vital energies’ and ‘primitive minds’ in the basis of their existences. They both connote human activities.

One of AKA’s main themes was to propose how human beings can contribute to the natural surroundings in a positive and inventive way. The experience of the museum starts with the landscape. While the site reminds the visitors of the origin of the Japanese culture, they can also appreciate the surrounding art. The ancient culture is no longer just things from the past. The contemporary works of Keith Haring with AKA triggers the design to evoke ‘vital energies’ and ‘primitive minds’ of ancient Japan. They call this ‘creative succession’, which provides ‘creative sustainability’ to the site. The project awakes old memories and opens up to a harmonious coexistence of the nature and human activities.

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Atsushi Kitagawara Architects

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