The National Art Center in Roppongi is a funky-chic blend of high-tech glass panelling with a utilitarian ethos that denies the standard limitations of space. The exterior ripples like a breaking wave, its sliced-and-diced stylings constantly catching refractions from the sun, remaking its contours in blotches of dizzying light.Â Inside there are islands of cone-shaped concrete capped with coffee shops attainable only by bridges from upper floors, coming together within the wave-like facade in a cavernous lobby to create the idea of a wide open space comprised of a series of intimate and distinct areas.
I went along to the Art Center with Su Young to check out the building, as well as a National Arts and Media Festival going on inside.
The wave crashes overhead.
The Media Arts show on the inside was generally unimpressive. It was of course free, so I`m not complaining, but seemed to be comprised chiefly of tech-gimmicks; like a light-box you can line up to control, a video fishingÂ pond you cast your line into by dialling a number on your cell phone, rooms where you danced in front of a screen and had yourself re-projected onto it with bits of junk clinging to your frame.
Fun novelty bits, but not really art and not really coming together to mean anything, or say anything. Components of future art perhaps.
Behind the panels.
Up an island.
Out the entrance.
Location – Roppongi
Entry – Free entry to some exhibitions.
Facts – Opened in 2007.
Architect – Kisho Kurokawa
Highlights – Wavy glass.
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