Isamu Noguchi fountains to be restored at Expo ’70 park
SUITA, Osaka Prefecture–Six water fountains at the Expo ’70 Commemorative Park here designed by world-renowned artist Isamu Noguchi for the 1970 Osaka Expo will be restored as part of a major conservation project.
The fountains, designed to the concept of “dream for space” by Noguchi, were switched off and kept in the park as sculptures for nearly five decades after the world exposition ended.
One fountain, the 33-meter-tall “Comet,” a cubic structure that sprayed water from atop a tall post, was placed in the expo venue’s Dream Pond. Another pair, titled “Spaceships,” were dome-shaped structures that bobbed up and down in the pond while spewing water in all directions.
Along with the fountains, the prefectural government has decided to restore the “Space Theater,” a music hall that was fitted with 1,008 speakers and partially produced by acclaimed composer Toru Takemitsu, famed for classic film scores, and reopen it to the public in 2020.
The Space Theater was built as a part of the Steel Pavilion, which is now used as the Expo ’70 Pavilion, a memorial museum, where visitors can see the inside of the theater through glass windows.
Multimedia shows mixing sound and laser lights were held daily during the expo, and Japan’s traditional performance arts, such as Noh and “bunraku” puppet performance, were also staged.
The prefectural government has put 36 million yen ($331,000) aside in the draft budget for the next fiscal year for the engineering fee and investigation of the restoration project.
The fountains switch-on date is not yet set, as the investigation will start from the next fiscal year.
The Osaka prefectural government has already announced plans to apply for UNESCO World Heritage recognition of the iconic Tower of the Sun designed for the expo by artist Taro Okamoto after it turns 50 in 2020, the standard mark for the national cultural asset registration.
The prefectural government will also designate 3 million yen in the draft budget for the exploratory fee for the UNESCO application of the Tower of the Sun.