Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto sees beauty in M+ Asian collection

Sou Fujimoto raves about the Asian angle on architecture the selection promises to deliver

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 December, 2013, 4:28am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 December, 2013, 4:28am

The West Kowloon museum for visual culture has instilled high hopes in an award-winning Japanese architect through an architectural collection it is building to give the Asian perspective.

M+, set to open in the West Kowloon Cultural District in 2017, would play a vital role in the rise of Asian architecture, Sou Fujimoto said yesterday.

"I'm looking forward to a big collection in the centre of Asia," Fujimoto said in an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post. "For education, for the experience of citizens, it is nice to offer them an opportunity to understand how architects design and the history through their drawings and models … because the models and drawings will be gone without such a collection."

The architect was a speaker at a forum held during the Business of Design Week (BODW) at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. Fujimoto, who is in his early 40s, claimed world fame as the youngest architect appointed to build the Serpentine Gallery's annual pavilion in Kensington Gardens, London, this summer.

His captivating airy and light steel structure served as a summer public space and was the third Japanese export after Toyo Ito in 2002 and Sanaa in 2009.

The M+ collection that drew his interest would be shown next month for the first time, the museum-in-progress said this week.

Fujimoto said a collection anchored in Asia would offer a different perspective to those shown in other parts of the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. "[M+ and MoMA] can be parallel to each other. The two viewpoints can co-exist and offer cultural diversity. If you have more options, it can enrich the architecture and cultural background."

On current projects, Fujimoto said he was working to "create a city" in the south of Shanghai, a vast complex comprising residential, commercial and exhibition spaces. It is expected to be completed in two to three years.

He said he paid a lot of attention to the fundamentals of architecture - to offer a living environment and diversity.

"The role of architecture is important in defining people's daily lives and behaviours," he said.

The BODW Forum runs until tomorrow.