Japan Unlayered is now open at Fairmont Pacific Rim. The exhibition, curated by revered architect Kengo Kuma and two of Vancouver’s premier development firms, Westbank and Peterson, explores the rich traditions of Japanese design, culture and architecture, including the highly anticipated Vancouver introduction of contemporary brands, MUJI and BEAMS.
The exhibition, open until February 28, 2017 and offered without charge, is displayed over two levels of Fairmont Pacific Rim. It is designed to be a sensory experience that invites one to explore Japanese culture through touch, taste, sight, sound and smell. Sculpture, photography, film, art – all steeped in Japanese tradition, line the lobby of Fairmont Pacific Rim. On the second floor, a panel exhibition of both Kuma-san’s work and the concepts of layering. The exhibition presents Japanese craftsmanship alongside contemporary design to illustrate that the defining principles of Japanese design remain the same despite the evolution of technology.
Japan Unlayered introduces the elements of Japanese culture that inspire Westbank, especially the design philosophy of layering and its manifestation in architecture. The exhibition offers a glimpse into an interesting and influential part of Westbank’s world that is leading the practice in new and exciting directions, supported by development partner Peterson; most prominently Alberni by Kengo Kuma, a 43-storey tower by Kengo Kuma proposed for downtown Vancouver – his first high-rise in North America.
The exhibition is housed within Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver’s definitive luxury hotel. Since opening in 2010, it has become a destination for a growing collection of art and ever evolving design under the direction of developers and owners, Westbank and Peterson.
At the entrance and throughout the lobby, dramatic design elements – an Acura NSX and a Red Pine bonsai flank the entrance; a Floating Tea House – a 130 square metre 'Super Organza' fabric roof suspended from a translucent helium balloon; sculpture finished in traditional laquer, contemporary high-fashion, a 1.7 x 3 metre washi (hung), a 1958 film – Equinox Flower; and black and white photography of Katsura Imperial Villa.
MUJI and BEAMS, two of Japan’s iconic brands, are debuting their renowned products. A Vancouver exclusive MUJI "pop-up" pavilion in the lobby, designed by Kuma-san using Canadian oak, sells the brand's signature products, known as "no brand quality goods". Taking over giovane café, is the lifestyle products of BEAMS JAPAN, which highlights modern Japanese design and craftsmanship. BEAMS JAPAN is one of the latest projects by renowned retailer BEAMS, and this "pop up" shop is their first in North America.
At the top of the stairs, displayed on panels is a retrospective look at the architecture of Kengo Kuma, from its small beginnings to current large-scale works, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium, along with study models of Alberni by Kengo Kuma, the 43-storey tower by Kengo Kuma and Associates (KKAA), proposed for downtown Vancouver. An additional 20 wood panels in natural oak, showcase themes within the layering philosophy by taking a Japanese word and defining it in the context of the exhibition using a written descriptive with illustration, including – Shakkei (spatial framing); Byobu (folding screens); Chado (Japanese tea ceremony)
Food & Beverage
The Japan Unlayered culinary offering presents the dishes of Hiromitsu Nozaki, head chef of two Michelin star restaurant Waketokuyama in Tokyo. Under his direction, the hotel's sushi chef Taka Omi and his culinary brigade offer a limited number of his signature Gozen lunches - 10 per day – in The RawBar. The experience will be elevated with the Vancouver arrival of Nozaki-san and tea master Shinya Sakurai of Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience in early February. Chef Nozaki will present, for one evening only on, February 8, a nine-course kaiseki dinner – Japanese fine dining – for a limited number of guests. To further celebrate the essence of Japanese aesthetics, traditional tea and contemporary tea cocktails prepared by Sakurai-san and Fairmont Pacific Rim head bartender, Grant Sceney, are available alongside sake and Japanese whiskey in the Lobby Lounge.
FULL Press Kit & Images available: www.japanunlayered.com
About the Westbank - Peterson - Kengo Kuma Partnership
Inspired by its interaction with Japanese design, Westbank and Peterson, developers-owners of Fairmont Pacific Rim, invited master Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and his firm Kengo Kuma and Associates to curate the exhibition. Westbank and Peterson have an existing relationship with KKAA through the development of its proposed development, Alberni by Kengo Kuma, a 43-storey residential building in downtown Vancouver. Depth, rigour, and unrelenting effort to achieve artistic synthesis are central to layering exhibited through Japan Unlayered, similar to the total work of art philosophy of 'Gesamtkunstwerk' that Westbank has reinvigorated and explored in its development projects, like Vancouver House and TELUS Garden.
About Fairmont Pacific Rim
Fairmont Pacific Rim – Vancouver's definitive luxury hotel – was rated the World's Best Business Hotel by Condé Nast Traveler readers and the #1 City hotel in Canada by Travel + Leisure. This ultramodern downtown hotel offers unobstructed mountain and harbour views, combining best of the Pacific Rim in its architecture and décor. The hotel features three eclectic dining destinations, resort-style Willow Stream Spa, rooftop pool deck, and guestrooms with lavish appointments, including a variety of the city's most luxurious suites.
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