Kuma Words 16

Kuma Words 16

I recently took part in a symposium at Tokyo University of the Arts with Jack Lang, who was the Culture Minister under Mitterrand Administration. While in office, he launched the famous Grand Projects (building Grand Louvre, Opera Bastille), and is known as the key figure who revived French culture in the latter half of the 20th century.

Particularly noteworthy policy about Jack Lang is that he not only revitalized Paris culturally through the projects but also established FRAC (Fonds régionaux d’art contemporain) in many regions in France to promote their culture further. I was extremely looking forward to the discussion with Lang because within the New Generation FRAC scheme from 2000 that designated six cities, KKAA was selected to design two of their centers – one in Besancon and the other in Marseilles.

I was impressed by the fact that Lang had an intuitive trust in architecture about its vital role in a nation’s cultural policy. He also emphasized that strong resistance was unavoidable when new architecture was proposed to change the city.

From this talk I’ve learned that the current diversity and prosperity of arts and culture in France had been brought about by his unyielding attitude.