Shigeho Shinagawa, the President of HIROSHI SENJU MUSEUM KARUIZAWA
Karuizawa is known for its harmony of nature and culture. I have been closely involved in the planning of the “Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa”, which celebrates the confluence of nature, art and architecture. In order to achieve this concept, I enlisted the cooperation of Japan’s leading artist Hiroshi Senju himself and leading architect Ryue Nishizawa. Senju is a formidable force, working out of Tokyo, Kyoto and New York. The first Asian to be bestowed with an individual award at the Venice Biennale, he continues to gain worldwide recognition. We have acquired significant works from his career—starting in 1978—to be housed here. Ryue Nishizawa embraced the natural contours of Karuizawa’s landscape when designing the museum, with even the floor following the natural sloping angle of the site. He choreographed a space where visitors could enjoy the feeling of becoming one with the works of Hiroshi Senju and a forest of Karuizawa. Ryue Nishizawa is a star in the world of architecture. SANAA, his firm with partner Kazuyo Sejima, recently collected the Pritzer, the architectural world’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. For the 3000 tsubo site (nearly 2.5 acres), the two creators Senju and Nishizawa collaborated on a dream project. Involving the planting of 150 plant varieties and numbering more than 60,000 roots, the color leaf project’s pink, yellow, purple, silver and red shrubs and grasses fan out around the site as if in benediction of the museum. In Karuizawa, with its clear air, gentle breeze and soft light, visitors can experience a place of extraordinary imagination and beauty…It is my hope that visitors will come away feeling they’ve encountered a new world they’ve never experienced before.