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March 11 – July 11, 2021

As its first exhibition upon reopening to the public, Japan Society is pleased to present When Practice Becomes Form: Carpentry Tools from Japan. Opening on the tenth anniversary of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, the exhibition celebrates the resilient spirit of Japanese architecture and craftsmanship through woodworking tools, architectural patterns, and models. The site-specific exhibition design, conceived by the esteemed architect Sou Fujimoto in collaboration with Brooklyn-based Popular Architecture, introduces major themes from the exhibition and is in dialogue with the gallery’s spaces, highlighting an enduring connection between traditional Japanese wooden construction and modern architecture.

Featuring a variety of hand tools and wooden models reflecting joinery techniques that have been used for hundreds of years to build Japan’s wooden architectural masterpieces (from temples and shrines to bridges), the exhibition unpacks the intangible qualities of craftsmanship, such as consummate experience, expertise, and the honed skills of master carpenters in Japanese architecture. A diverse array of tools—planes, chisels, saws—have played an important role in the development of architecture in Japan, and this philosophy extends to Japan’s cultural heritage today. Integral to the processes of master carpenters (tōryō) is their extensive knowledge of the local environment and of wood as a material. Using natural resources and learning from their predecessors’ practices, they construct buildings using a refined methodology. Their philosophy of sustainability—for example, joinery can be restored or repaired as needed by future craftspeople—has been handed down over generations.
Themes emerging from the exhibition have been introduced by the internationally acclaimed architect Sou Fujimoto. His firm, Sou Fujimoto Architects, is based in Tokyo and Paris, and has been selected as site design producer for the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka, Japan. Fujimoto has designed the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London (2013) among other internationally recognized projects. For this exhibition, Fujimoto has worked with Popular Architecture, as local partner to explore the coexistence of nature and architecture.

Program details are subject to change. Please visit for ticketing information and programming updates.

Carpentry Tools Demonstration, Online
April 2021
May 2021
Join a trained carpenter in this two-part series of live, online demonstrations highlighting how to use traditional Japanese carpentry tools. In partnership with Kezurou-kai USA, each event will focus on a different tool and techniques. This is a free event with advanced registration required.

Carpentry Tools Workshop, Online
April 2021
$50/$40 Japan Society members, seniors & students, event registration includes free admission to the on-site gallery
Join a trained carpenter in this two-hour workshop as they demonstrate traditional techniques in Japanese carpentry and share strategies for tool usage. In partnership with Kezurou-kai USA. Advanced registration is required.

Family Workshop, Online
June 6, 2021 at 11 AM
$30/$24 Japan Society members; event registration includes free admission to the on-site gallery exhibition for one family (up to 2 adults).
This educational workshop invites guests to create their own architectural space inspired by the exhibition, using materials found in the home. For families and caretakers with children aged 5–11. Advanced registration required (maximum number of families 20).

Lecture: Sou Fujimoto, Online
June 24, 2021
$12/$10 students & seniors, essential workers | FREE for Japan Society members, event registration includes free admission to the on-site gallery
This keynote lecture by the exhibition’s architect Sou Fujimoto discusses his work and connections between contemporary architectural practice and traditional craftsmanship. This event may occur on-site; please check future announcements on our website.

Virtual Gallery Tours, Online
Upon request from April 1
Flat rate (up to 40 people): $150 adults/$100 seniors & university students
Take an immersive, multimedia tour of the exhibition led by a Japan Society docent.
Two weeks advance request recommended.

K-12 School Gallery Tours, Online
Upon request from April 1
K-12 school groups can schedule virtual gallery tours for an interactive art experience led by trained museum educators, who incorporate close-looking, personal connections, inquiry, and related activities for K-12 students. Two weeks advance request recommended.


Virtual Wine Tour de France
Big Macs & Burgundy:
Unusual Pairings for Exceptional Wines
Thursday, May 20 at 6:30pm ET
Online • In English
FIAF Member: Free • Non-Member: $15

Burgundy’s prestigious wines are incredibly versatile, beautifully complementing delicate and bold flavors alike. Vanessa Price, co-author of Big Macs & Burgundy, will examine the bolder side of the spectrum during this illuminating evening of surprising and indulgent pairings. She will be joined by Nicole Muscari, wine advisor from Vivant, and Yannick Benjamin, co-founder of Wheeling Forward and Head Sommelier of The University Club. Learn more.

Featured Wines
Available for delivery in beautiful and fun glass tasting tubes!
• Dominique Cornin Saint-Véran Les Serreuxdières 2018
• Dominique Cornin Pouilly-Fuissé Les Plessys 2017
• Domaine de la Luolle Givry Les Plants Sont Fleuris Rouge 2018
• Domaine de la Luolle Mercurey Le Balcon 2018
• Dominique Cornin Mâcon-Chaintré Les Serreuxdières 2017
• Domaine de la Luolle Bourgogne Blanc Les Daluz 2018

Order the wines by May 6
$81.45 including delivery; includes one 100ml tasting tube of each wine

Get Tasting Tickets

Virtual Wine Tour de France
Bordeaux Tasting:
Pierre Lurton Unveils Chateau Marjosse’s Secret Cuvées
Thursday, June 24 at 6pm ET
Online • In English
FIAF Member: Free • Non-Member: $15

Pierre Lurton, CEO of Château d’Yquem and Managing Director of Cheval Blanc, has owned and cultivated Château Marjosse since 1991. A member of one of Bordeaux’s legendary winemaking families, Lurton will share his extensive knowledge of the region and lead a tasting of selections from his Anthology Wine Collection. Susan Kostrzewa, Editor-in-Chief of Wine Enthusiast, will moderate. Learn more.

Featured Wines
• Cuvée Palombe 2018, Semillon, Sauvignon gris, Sauvignon Blanc
• Cuvée Chardonneret 2018, Chardonnay
• Cuvée Ortolan 2018, Cabernet Franc

Pre-order the wines — click here

$99 excluding tax and shipping. Wines will be delivered after May 31.

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© New York Cool 2004-2024