Large scale geometric project unveiled by Chelsie Giles, bronze medallist for Judo at the Tokyo 2020 Games
1 September 2021, LONDON: Today Chelsie Giles, Bronze medallist for Judo at the Tokyo 2020 Games representing Team GB unveiled a brand-new creative street crossing for Japan House London on Kensington High Street. Part of Japan House London’s celebration of the ingenuity of Japanese designers at Olympic Games, past and present, the creative street crossing has been specially designed by award-winning Tokyo 2020 Games emblem creator, artist Tokolo Asao.
A leading figure in art, architecture, and design, Tokolo’s eye-catching works are created using simple geometric patterns arranged around the theme of ‘connecting’, with a particular focus on the Japanese colour ai – or Japanese indigo, a durable, weather resistant dye that retains its vivid dark blue colour over time.
The origins of the newly unveiled crossing design are unmistakeably linked to the Harmonised Chequered Emblem, brought to life through the drone display during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Chelsie Giles, Bronze medallist for Judo at the Tokyo 2020 Games commented: “Winning Bronze at Tokyo 2020 was a dream come true and being a part of marking the historic Games in London with a new art installation at Japan House London is a real privilege. I hope it will draw many visitors to visit High Street Kensington to explore Japan House London and their latest exhibition exploring the legacy of the Tokyo 1964 Games.”
Artist Tokolo Asao commented: “It is an honour to unveil my first design for a creative street crossing at Japan House London. As an artist working with patterns and signs all themed around the idea of connecting – it is a pleasure to not only work within the context of the London landscape but to launch a crossing at the heart of the city that has provided much inspiration throughout my career.”
Simon Wright, Director – Programming, Japan House London commented: “This unique crossing designed by artist and designer Tokolo Asao is his first in London. Follow it into Japan House to discover the design legacy of both the Games of Tokyo 1964 and Tokyo 2020 and explore 20 years of Tokolo’s exciting and carefully crafted works. We look forward to welcoming everyone at Japan House London to learn and enjoy more about Japanese design.”
Cllr Emma Will, Lead Member for Culture at Kensington and Chelsea Council, said: “The new crossing by Tokolo Asao is a wonderful addition to the bustling Kensington High Street and certainly reflects the diversity of the borough and its strong influences of arts and culture, as well as celebrating the Olympic Games. I look forward to seeing how our residents and visitors safely interact with the crossing over the coming weeks through the design and the theme of connectivity.”
The large-scale geometrically patterned crossing project is part of a special season of exhibitions at Japan House London celebrating the achievements of Japanese designers at Olympic Games, including:
- Tokyo 1964: Designing Tomorrow – a celebration of the pioneering design and cultural legacy of the iconic Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, – open now until 7 November 2021.
- Tokolo Asao [CONNECT] – an exhibition showcasing a sample of Tokolo’s work from the past 20 years, all united by the characteristic of ‘connection’, and exploring his collaborations with craftspeople across a variety of media including lacquer, porcelain and cut glass – open now until 7 November 2021.
- Olympic and Paralympic Torches – real-life Tokyo 2020 torches created by eminent designer Yoshikoka Tokujin. – on display until 12 September.