The Future Has Passed (2010)

The Concept: Progress and Harmony for Mankind

Theme 1: Towards Fuller Enjoyment of Life

Theme 2: Towards More Bountiful Fruits From Nature

Theme 3: Towards Greater Engineering of Our Living Environment

Theme 4: Towards Better Understanding of Each Other

          From “The Official Themes of the 1970 World Exposition”


For 183 days in 1970, a city of the future was open to the public on a land densely covered by a bamboo forest only a few years earlier.  The 1970 World Exposition, commonly known as Expo ‘70, was held that year in the outskirts of Osaka, Japan.  From the opening ceremony on March 15th to the grand finale on September 13th, the event attracted more than 64 million visitors, setting at the time an attendance record for a World Exposition event.  This city with its hi-tech pavilions, automated walkways, and monorail trains provided a sweeping vision of the future based on the event’s theme “Progress and Harmony for Mankind.”  Held during the height of the postwar economic miracle, Expo ‘70 displayed the confidence of the government and the industries in building a technological utopia by the new millennium.  Yet, only a few signs from this city of the future remain today.  Although the ambition of Kenzo Tange (1913 – 2005), the chief architect of the site, was to foster the growth of a new urban center out of the Expo master plan after the closing of the event, most of the infrastructure instead disappeared in the years that followed.  The traces of Expo ’70 that are still there cannot hide the ravages inflicted from the passing of time.  This ongoing project investigates the former grounds of Expo ‘70 as a site that illustrates the limits of foreseeing the course of history.  Furthermore, the photographs consider the current condition of this location as an allegory of the aftermath of the dream seemingly promised by the spectacle in 1970.

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