When thinking about art and Kagawa prefecture, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Naoshima Island, Setouchi Triennale, Isamu Noguchi, Genichiro Inokuma's Art Museum, George Nakashima's furniture and Sakura Seisakusho…??
In recent years Kagawa has been advancing various activities as an "Artistic Prefecture". But why art?
The answer is to be found at the Kagawa Prefectural Office East Building, a structure that was designed by one of Japan's representative architects, Kenzo Tange. The leading force behind this was Masanori Kaneko, Kagawa’s first prefectural governor elected by a democratic election after the war. His first task was to build a new prefectural government office on the site of burnt out ruins!
Politics and art are the same! Both must be dedicated to enriching the minds of people.
"Politics are design" by Masanori Kaneko.
True to his word, prefectural governor Kaneko entrusted the design of the new prefectural government office to Kenzo Tange, the murals at the entrance to Genichiro Inokuma, and the furniture and fixtures to Isamu Kenmochi. Thus, the hands of Japan’s leading creators crafted the new prefectural office.
Through architecture, these men tried to express the concept of "democracy".
Now it's a given, but at the time, if asked what democracy was, few Japanese would have been able to give a clear answer. And that's why the architecture was so significant.
The piloti, where anyone can enter freely, is the large, open, glass-walled lobby. When it opened there was an open-air cafe established on the roof, and the inner garden was created with movie screenings and concerts in mind.
Last year a unique project performance using projection mapping, images, drama and architecture was held in the inner garden.
*Sanuki Film Festival 2015 / Hi-bye Company (representative Hideto Iwai) Performance "Reikan shojo Hitomi" ('Hitomi, the girl who can sense the supernatural')
(Website in Japanese)
The Kagawa prefectural office building expressed the new idea of democracy in the form of architecture. The results of the chemical reaction that occurred from the late 1960s to the early 1970s came from the artistic genes provided at the beginning.
Kagawa Prefectural Government Building Guided Tour
If you wish to take a tour, please make a reservation one week before the date on which you wish to visit.
Taking a tour is possible from Monday through Friday (excluding national holidays and New Year's holidays) between 9am-11am & between 1pm-4pm (the tour lasts about an hour)
Reservations: Tel. 087-832-3075 (Responsible: Property Management Section)
(Write the name of the contact person, a telephone number where you can be contacted, how many people will participate, and the date and time you wish to visit)
URL: http://www.pref.kagawa.lg.jp/zaisankeiei/guide/guide.htm (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Chizuko Konishi
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