Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds We live surrounded not only by works of art, but also by monuments, architecture, and other cultural properties. These should have cultural and historical value, but, for a variety of reasons, it’s not unusual for them to be destroyed. I’m Yohko Watanabe from Keio University Art Center (KUAC). In this course, we discuss the preservation and inheritance of cultural properties by examining a concrete example. At the Art Center, we preserve and restore Keio University’s cultural properties. These activities are essential for the inheritance and continuation of cultural properties. In addition, there is also a need to promote and share the value contained within cultural properties. No matter how a cultural property is valuable, it is difficult for it to be preserved without these activities.
Skip to 1 minute and 4 seconds We will use this space where I am standing, formerly known as the “Noguchi Room”, as an example, Mr. Niikura and Ms. Kirishima will introduce you to its history and activities involved with it. The Noguchi Room was a common room in a professor’s office building on the Mita Campus of Keio University in the heart of Tokyo. This room was a collaboration between the sculptor Isamu Noguchi and the architect Yoshiro Taniguchi. It was spatial art achieved close interrelationships between architecture, sculpture, and a garden. However, this space with high artistic value was dismantled. The original concept was a beautiful unity, but we were forced to, reluctantly, dismantle it and reconstruct the room in a different state from the viewpoint of Noguchi’s concept.
Skip to 2 minutes and 6 seconds The space formerly known as the Noguchi Room is no longer in its original state, but furniture and interior design by Isamu Noguchi still exist in their original form, and their artistic value has not been lost. So, what is the best use of this current architectural space, now known as the “Ex-“Noguchi Room? Can we actively use it, and contribute to education? The example you will see in this course should be good intellectual stimulation for those considering how to increase the visibility of cultural properties in the context of a university, while preserving and utilizing architectural cultural properties. Let’s trace the history of the Noguchi Room, to find university role in cultural property preservation and use.