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ARAI Junichi | Tradition and Creation


"The starting point of creativity lies in the vein of tradition", said Arai.

Arai Junichi was born in Kiryu in 1932. Throughout his career he has continued to produce incredible textiles which combine traditional and ancient techniques with new technologies that remain profound and individual. He is deeply reverent and carries affection for each piece of textile made by the anonymous hands of craftspersons all over the world. In the 1980s, he collaborated with Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons) to make a highly creative textile for their clothing lines, representing the Japanese fashion design industry. 

In the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, the exhibition's composition is located in two large gallery spaces and one narrow corridor. According to those three spaces, we proposed that through each space, there would consist a theme; 'Self-organization' in Gallery 1, 'Prayer and spirituality' in Gallery 2 and finally, the 'beacon of creation' in the corridor space.

Gallery 1 is the first exhibition space, where the textiles were displayed horizontally. Arai’s textile sits against gravity and continues to follow one after the other in a horizontal wave. Lighting is constantly changing as if the textiles themselves are breathing or suggestive that the textile may be a living organism, able to converse in the transition of silent motion.

In Gallery 2, the textiles are displayed vertically. Large scale textiles were exhibited in accordance with gravity. Textiles follow each other by air movement, and never stop slowly drifting, maintaining a magnanimous state. 'Mawaritemeguru' (new work) (200m x 5m) is fabricated on front and back of gold and silver and composes a maze which is reversed by two spiralling forms. 'Textile forest' is another large scale work that forms in a group and at the end 'Pracsis' (new work) is displayed against the entire wall of 12m x 6m that visitors will experience in a series of textile suspended in space.

In the corridor there consists an exhibition of light and sound. Arai was able to travel around the world, where he took slide photos which are projected on the floor with a 680 slideshow. The transmission of the colour slideshow combines with the sound of recordings about textiles in Arai’s own voice from five speakers from the ceiling overhead. It is a space to feel 'textile within textile' from the memory of imagination by Arai Junchi.

"I've created a textile for long time, but most of the textile that are exhibited I saw first time here today." said Arai at the opening ceremony.


Project information

Status: Completed

Location:Tokyo, JP

Date: 2012-2013

Area: 740 m²

Commission type: Private

Client: Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery

Program: Installation

Project team

Architect: Dorell Ghotmeh Tane (DGT)

Technical Direction: Luftzug

Lighting: Samsara

Graphic Design: Shin Akiyama

Structure: Yasuhiro Kaneda

Construction: Tokyo Studio

Planning: Mangosteen Inc.












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