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‘Tokyo Blossoms’ exhibition at the Hara Museum, Japan opened 15 years ago

Celebrating the Deutsche Bank Collection’s 25 year history, the exhibition designed by Zaha Hadid Architects responded to the architecture of the Hara Museum and the historical aspects of its location, reinforcing and contextualizing the works on display. In addition to the design of the exhibition in the interior space, ZHA created a series of large-scale site-specific outdoor sculptures whose forms recall the falling blossoms of cherry trees, a spectacle for which that particular spot in Tokyo is famous. 

Inspired by the transitional nature of a temporary installation, the sculptures’ design evolved from a series of studies into the transformative qualities of textiles, replicating the same sense of lightness, softness and flexibility in the design. The intervention was discreet; placing a small number of objects that embodied these characteristics in the exhibition and wider museum, focusing on the inner garden. The visitor first encountered the installation as shadows of these different elements, which increased in scale and frequency as they approached the garden. Inside the garden, the installation manifest itself as a pavilion with spaces to sit, rest and enjoy the views of the museum’s landscape that combined art and nature.

Photograph by Hirotaka Yonekura