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2010 Venice Architecture Biennale Director appointed

November 11, 2009

World-renowned Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima to be the first woman to direct the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Renowned Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima has been named as Director of the 12th International Venice Architecture Biennale, making her the first woman to direct the Architecture section of the Biennale.

Making the announcement, President of the Biennale Paolo Baratta described Sejima as, “one of the most highly-qualified and established representatives of the new masters of architecture of the new millennium”.

Sejima is a highly regarded exponent of contemporary architecture. She graduated with a degree in architecture from Japan Women’s University in 1981, and went on to work in Toyo Ito’s studio. She then opened her own studio in 1987, before joining forces with Ryue Nishizawa in 1995 to establish the now world-renowned Tokyo studio SANAA.

International projects completed by SANAA include the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, the Christian Dior building in Omotesando, Tokyo, as well as this year’s Serpentine Pavilion in London.

Speaking about her ideas for the exhibitions, Sejima said: “The Biennale must be everything and anything, fundamentally inclusive, in dialogue with both contributors and visitors. Buildings, the atmosphere that they create and the way in which they are conceived can be the central starting point of the coming Biennale.

“Very broadly, the process by which we design can be brought to bear on contemporary and future architectural discussion, i.e., we can select and arrange works such that they are understood as they are rather than as representations. This can be manifested with an architecture grounded in its use by people.”

Sejima curated the Japan pavilion at the 7th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2000, entitled City of Girls. Toyo Ito describes her as, “an architect who uses the maximum simplicity to link the material and the abstract”.

The Creative Directors of the Australian Pavilion, John Gollings and Ivan Rijavec, were appointed in September.

The 12th Venice Architecture Biennale exhibition will run from 29 August to 21 November 2010, after vernissage on 26, 27 and 28 August.

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