About the Exhibition
Exhibition Overview
This exhibition is being held in the 10th year after the passing of the most prominent architect of postwar Japan, Kenzo Tange. This exhibition places its focus on the decade from 1949 to 1959, which spans from when Tange began working on his debut project, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (1952), to when he completed one of his early important works, the Kagawa Prefectural Government Office (1958), and presents a picture of Tange’s early years through contact sheets of 35-millimeter film images that he photographed himself. In this decade during which Tange debuted as one of the architects charged with the task of rebuilding Japan, made his first journey overseas, and became known as “Kenzo Tange of the World”, he left behind a vast number of photographs that he took himself with his camera. The photographs capture not only his own work but also works of traditional architecture, such as the Katsura Imperial Villa and Ryoanji Temple; the work of Le Corbusier; and also moments that he spent in the company of foreign architects during his travels, and they form an elaborate record of his activities during this period. The more than 70 original contact sheets that are being shown in public for the first time in this exhibition are marked in places with red trimming lines that were drawn by Tange himself. These lines reveal how the young Tange had been engaging with architecture, and they vividly convey the traces of the contemplations and struggles of the architect. In conjunction with this exhibition, a memorial symposium will be held on March 22, 2015 (Sun.) on the day of the 10th anniversary of Tange’s passing. The event will be moderated by the exhibition’s guest curator, Saikaku Toyokawa. The exhibition’s supervisor, Waro Kishi, will be among the panelists of architects and architectural historians who will discuss the architect Kenzo Tange and his work from many different directions.

Images from the Exhibit
© Nacása & Partners Inc.
© Nacása & Partners Inc.
© Nacása & Partners Inc.
© Nacása & Partners Inc.
© Nacása & Partners Inc.
© Nacása & Partners Inc.
© Nacása & Partners Inc.
© Nacása & Partners Inc.
© Nacása & Partners Inc.
© Nacása & Partners Inc.
© Nacása & Partners Inc.
© Nacása & Partners Inc.
© Nacása & Partners Inc.
© Nacása & Partners Inc.
© Nacása & Partners Inc.
Photographed Scenes
Tange, with camera in hand, facing the Kagawa Prefectural Government Office at the time of its completion. 1958. Photographer unknown.
At the time, Tange believed that “just like how stone awakened awe in medieval times, concrete will undoubtedly come to inspire a modern wonder in the people of today”.
Contact sheets of photographs of Tange’s work taken by the architect himself.
This contact sheet consists of images of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum during construction.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (Hiroshima, Hiroshima, 1952). 1952. ©Kenzo Tange.
The memorial museum is seen to be rising from a cemetery that originally existed on the site. The tombstones are burnt from the atomic blast. Many of these graves were left without anyone to care for them after the bombing.
Tange Residence (Setagaya, Tokyo, 1953). 1956. ©Kenzo Tange.
Tange took this photograph of his house from a helicopter.
Ehime Prefectural Hall (Matsuyama, Ehime, 1953). 1954. ©Kenzo Tange.
This photograph was taken from the grounds of Matsuyama Castle located behind the building.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (Hiroshima, Hiroshima, 1952). 1955. ©Kenzo Tange.
This photograph captures part of the crowd that gathered at the memorial service for the atomic bomb victims held on August 6, 1955.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office (Chiyoda, Tokyo, 1957). 1957. ©Kenzo Tange.
Rather than adhering to the conventional rules of architectural photography based on the use of tilt and straight horizontals and verticals, Tange angled the camera itself.
Kurayoshi City Hall (Kurayoshi, Tottori, 1957). 1957. ©Kenzo Tange.
Tange applied the kiwari proportioning system used in timber architecture to his reinforced concrete buildings in attempt to give them delicate expressions.
Kagawa Prefectural Government Office (Takamatsu, Kagawa, 1958). 1958. ©Kenzo Tange.
This nighttime photograph taken from the south garden shows the piloti of the low-rise wing (right) and the high-rise wing (left).
Mill Owners’ Association Building (design by Le Corbusier; Ahmedabad, India, 1956). 1957. ©Kenzo Tange.
Tange made a stop in India on his return from the São Paulo Biennial to study Le Corbusier’s buildings.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Tange Design Studio (Boston, Massachusetts, USA). 1959. ©Kenzo Tange.
Tange taught as a visiting professor at MIT for half a year from 1959. The ideas for a floating city that were explored in this studio were later developed into his Plan for Tokyo 1960.
Kenzo Tange, portrait. 1953. Photographer unknown.
The image was taken when Tange visited the construction site of his personal residence in Seijo, Tokyo.
Exhibition Information
Friday, January 23 – Saturday, March 28, 2015
11:00 – 18:00
Closed on Sundays and Mondays except March 22 (Sun)
Organized by
Planned by
TOTO GALLERY·MA Planning and Management Committee
(Special Advisor: Tadao Ando; Members: Waro Kishi, Kazuyo Sejima, Hiroshi Naito, Erwin Viray) + Kenya Hara
Supervised by
Waro Kishi
Guest Curation by
Saikaku Toyokawa
Space Design by
Masahiro Kinoshita
Planning Support
by Michiko Uchida
Supported by
Tokyo Society of Architects and Building Engineers
Tokyo Association of Architectural Firms
The Japan Institute of Architects Kanto-Koshinetsu Chapter
Kanto Chapter, Architectural Institute of Japan.
Related Program
March 22, 2015 | Kenchiku Kaikan Hall