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Fairmont Pacific Rim will host Japan Unlayered, an exhibition that celebrates contemporary Japanese architecture, design and culture from January 27 to February 28, 2017. Designed as a sensory experience, Japan Unlayered will invite visitors to experience Japanese culture through touch, taste, sight, sound and smell. 

Japan Unlayered is curated by master Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, his firm Kengo Kuma & Associates (KKAA) and the developers-owners of Fairmont Pacific Rim, Westbank and Peterson.

Kengo Kuma, Michael Sypkens, KKAA
[Kengo Kuma, Michael Sypkens, KKAA]

The exhibition will explore the in-depth collaboration between KKAA and Westbank, presenting Japanese craftsmanship alongside contemporary design to illustrate that the defining principles of Japanese design remain the same despite the evolution of technology.
The complimentary exhibition will be displayed over two levels of the hotel and pay tribute to the Japanese philosophy of layering, where overlapping elements define an overall experience (which Kuma-san’s work embodies).

Kengo Kuma with Alberni by Kuma
[Kengo Kuma with Alberni by Kuma]

A retrospective look at the architecture of Kengo Kuma is included; the exhibition will extend beyond his work to include Japanese design from a wide range of fields and brands.

The experience begins at the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s main entrance. Just inside the front doors, the traditional Japanese teahouse is given contemporary treatment with a 130-square-metre ‘Super Organza’ fabric roof comprised of 27-micron polyester (one-sixth the thickness of a strand of hair), suspended from a translucent helium balloon. 

Japan Unlayered teahouse

Two of Japan’s iconic brands, MUJI and BEAMS, will debut their renowned products. 

A Vancouver exclusive MUJI pop-up pavilion – designed by Kuma-san using Canadian oak – will sell the brand’s signature products known as “no-brand quality goods”. Taking over giovane café will be lifestyle product brand BEAMS JAPAN, highlighting modern Japanese design and craftsmanship. This will be the brand’s first North American pop-up.
Hiromitsu Nozaki
[Hiromitsu Nozaki]

The Japan Unlayered culinary offering starts with the dishes of Hiromitsu Nozaki, head chef of Tokyo’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant Waketokuyama. Under his direction, the hotel’s sushi chef Taka Omi and his culinary brigade will present a limited number of his signature bento boxes in The RawBar during lunch (from January 27 to February 28).

The experience will be elevated with the Vancouver arrival of Nozaki-san and tea master Shinya Sakurai of Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience in early February. On February 8, Chef Nozaki will present a nine-course kaiseki (Japanese fine dining) dinner for a limited number of guests.

To further inspire the essence of Japanese aesthetics, a collection of traditional teas and contemporary tea cocktails prepared by Sakurai-san and Fairmont Pacific Rim’s head bartender Grant Sceney will be available alongside sake and Japanese whiskey in the Lobby Lounge during the exhibition.

Japan unlayered
“Design in Japan is deeply rooted in tradition, drawing on centuries of rich history yet constantly growing, consuming many influences while producing cultural outcomes that remain uniquely Japanese,” says Ian Gillespie, President of Westbank.

“We hope this cultural richness and exchange of thinking with Japan will help Vancouver absorb the best of the world and at the same time develop its own unique aesthetic. As a very young city, and one of the most multicultural cities in the world, there’s huge potential to cross pollinate ideas.”
Further elements of the exhibit will include talks, fashion displays and music in the hotel’s lobby lounge, all influenced by contemporary Japanese culture.

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