As part of the law dedicating 1% of development funds to public art, Nadim Karam was commissioned to conceive a large installation of permanent artworks to contribute to the creation of an identity for a new urban complex of buildings in central Tokyo. The idea was not to make a landmark, but to introduce stories to the area. In total, around one hundred and forty different works, free-standing in stainless steel or integrated in cobblestone paving, brought stories and a whimsical spirit to a new urban development in Nakameguro, for what is one of the most extensive permanent urban art projects in Tokyo today.
The large quantity of works by one artist meant that diversity was essential; this was ensured with the uniqueness of each work, and the varying scales and functions that many were able to perform. The Elephant was a buffer on a windy corner, Empira was a beacon in a meeting zone, the Kissing Giraffes heralded the shopping district and others were roadside bollards, or integrated street lighting, balustrades and walls. Wind-powered movement was also incorporated within certain works to animate and give a spirit of ephemerality.
Central Tokyo, Japan