Japan House London Unveils Street Crossing Designed By Award Winning Artist Tokolo Asao
Japan House London Unveils Creative Street Crossing Designed By Award Winning Artist Tokolo Asao
Large scale geometric project unveiled by Chelsie Giles, bronze medallist for Judo at the Tokyo 2020 Games
• Today Chelsie Giles, bronze medallist for Judo at the Tokyo 2020 Games representing Team GB unveils new crossing on High Street Kensington for Japan House London
• Specially designed by Japanese artist Tokolo Asao, the large-scale geometrically patterned crossing shows echoes of Tokolo’s winning Tokyo 2020 emblem.
• Part of a special summer season at Japan House London celebrating the role of Japanese designers at Olympic Games past and present, including an exhibition showcasing the cultural legacy of Tokyo 1964.
• Download press images here.
1 September 2021, LONDON: Today Chelsie Giles, Bronze medallist for Judo at the Tokyo 2020 Games representing Team GB unveiled a brand-new creative street crossing for Japan House London on Kensington High Street. Part of Japan House London’s celebration of the ingenuity of Japanese designers at Olympic Games, past and present, the creative street crossing has been specially designed by award-winning Tokyo 2020 Games emblem creator, artist Tokolo Asao.
A leading figure in art, architecture, and design, Tokolo’s eye-catching works are created using simple geometric patterns arranged around the theme of ‘connecting’, with a particular focus on the Japanese colour ai – or Japanese indigo, a durable, weather resistant dye that retains its vivid dark blue colour over time.
The origins of the newly unveiled crossing design are unmistakeably linked to the Harmonised Chequered Emblem, brought to life through the drone display during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Chelsie Giles, Bronze medallist for Judo at the Tokyo 2020 Games commented: “Winning Bronze at Tokyo 2020 was a dream come true and being a part of marking the historic Games in London with a new art installation at Japan House London is a real privilege. I hope it will draw many visitors to visit High Street Kensington to explore Japan House London and their latest exhibition exploring the legacy of the Tokyo 1964 Games.”
Artist Tokolo Asao commented: “It is an honour to unveil my first design for a creative street crossing at Japan House London. As an artist working with patterns and signs all themed around the idea of connectivity - it is a pleasure to not only work within the context of the London landscape but to launch a crossing at the heart of the city that has provided much inspiration throughout my career.”
Simon Wright, Director – Programming, Japan House London commented: “This unique crossing designed by Tokolo Asao is the first of its kind in London. Follow it into Japan House to explore the precisely calculated world of the artist and designer with a 20-year retrospective of his work. Celebrating the design legacy of the Tokyo Games– both in 1964 and today - we hope that guests will join us to discover more about Japanese design at Japan House London.”
Cllr Emma Will, Lead Member for Culture at Kensington and Chelsea Council, said:
“The new crossing by Tokolo Asao is a wonderful addition to the bustling Kensington High Street and certainly reflects the diversity of the borough and its strong influences of arts and culture, as well as celebrating the Olympic Games. I look forward to seeing how our residents and visitors safely interact with the crossing over the coming weeks through the design and the theme of connectivity.”
The large-scale geometrically patterned crossing project is part of a special season of exhibitions at Japan House London celebrating the achievements of Japanese designers at Olympic Games, including:
• Tokyo 1964: Designing Tomorrow – a celebration of the pioneering design and cultural legacy of the iconic Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, - open now until 7 November 2021.
• Tokolo Asao [CONNECT] – an exhibition showcasing a sample of Tokolo’s work from the past 20 years, all united by the characteristic of ‘connection’, and exploring his collaborations with craftspeople across a variety of media including lacquer, porcelain and cut glass – open now until 7 November 2021.
• Olympic and Paralympic Torches – real-life Tokyo 2020 torches created by eminent designer Yoshikoka Tokujin. – on display until 12 September.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
About Tokolo Asao
Tokolo Asao has been a student of architecture since childhood and studied under Egashira Shin, an artist, architect, and educator at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. Since September 2011, he has created patterns based on a theme of ‘connecting’. His work blends the fields of art, architecture, and design. Many of his patterns encompass geometric shapes which can be created simply using a compass and a ruler, and his skilled 3D artworks take a similar approach. His notable works include glass patterns for the Dainagoya Building in Nagoya City, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic emblems, and the Tower of Connect, a sculpture installed outside the Otemachi Park Building in Tokyo. Tokolo has been a lecturer at the University of Tokyo Faculty of Engineering since 2016 and a lecturer at the University of Tokyo College of Arts and Sciences since 2018.
About Japan House London
Japan House London is a cultural destination offering visitors the opportunity to experience the best and latest from Japan. Located on London’s Kensington High Street, the experience is an authentic encounter with Japan, engaging and surprising even the most knowledgeable guests. Presenting the very best of Japanese art, design, gastronomy, innovation, and technology, it deepens the visitor’s appreciation of all that Japan has to offer. Part of a global initiative led by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are two other Japan Houses, one in Los Angeles and the other in São Paulo.
How to plan a visit
Japan House London is free to visit. It is not necessary to book to see the displays of Tokolo’s work however Gallery exhibitions (also free) must be pre-booked.
Find out more here