Press Release

2024.04.11 Name Change of Signature Pavilion (Produced by KAWASE Naomi)

In April 2024, the signature pavilion of KAWASE Naomi’s theme project “to exist” (theme: Embracing Lives) at the 2025 World Exposition will be renamed “Dialogue Theatre – sign of life -”. The pavilion, under the patronage of UNESCO, with the theme of “Dialogue” will utilise two closed schools in Nara and Kyoto (Oritachi Junior High School in Totsukawa Village, Nara Prefecture, and the Nakade Branch of Hosomi Elementary School in Fukuchiyama City, Kyoto Prefecture).

A Pavilion based on the theme of “Dialogue”
The concept of this pavilion is “A dialogue for the first time in human history is born every day.” Through dialogue, visitors will come into contact with each other’s differences in race, religion, culture, etc., and encounter “the you in me and the me in you,” aiming to overcome division through dialogue. During the 184 days of the exhibition, dialogues will be held approximately 1,840 times (*assuming 10 times per day) between complete strangers, including those of different nationalities, races, and cultures.

Visitors to the pavilion will witness a dialogue between strangers meeting for the first time through a screen. Speakers from around the world will be invited to participate in the dialogue. In Japan, we plan to invite applicants from the general public. The dialogues during the Expo will be archived, and after the Expo is over, they will be used in a variety of ways, developed, and help guide the future.

The original name of the theatre was “Inochino akashi (to exist) ” in Japanese only, but the name has been changed to “Dialogue Theatre – sign of life -” in English to make it easier to understand and to increase awareness among a wider audience in Japan and abroad. The “sign of life” is a “symptom of life, a sign that one is alive, in other words, “to exist”.

■ About the main visual
Dialogue Theatre – sign of life-” will be a place to shed light on each and every life by shining a spotlight on the inner lives of ordinary people through ‘dialogue’ and through the recycling-oriented architecture of an abandoned school that has been transformed into a pavilion by shining light once again on its decay. The pavilion will be a place that shines a light on each and every life. Therefore, the main visual of the pavilion will be an icon consisting of a speech balloon and a spotlight, which symbolise dialogue, light, attention, and hope.

Under the patronage of UNESCO, “working together for peace through dialogue”
UNESCO has decided to grant its patronage to the pavilion because it “serves as a place of open, intergenerational exchanges” and “resonates with UNESCO’s enduring belief that culture is the pillar of peaceful, empathetic, and nurturing societies.”
*United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization U.N.E.S.C.O.

Press release:

Profile of KAWASE Naomi

KAWASE is a filmmaker based in the ancient capital of Nara, where she was born and raised. Her consistent pursuit of “reality” transcends the realm of documentary and fiction and has won numerous awards at film festivals around the world. In 2010, she launched the Nara International Film Festival and became the general director of the official documentary film of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She is a producer and senior advisor for Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan. Her notable works include “Still the Water,” “Sweet Bean,” “Radiance,” and “True Mothers.” In addition to directing films, she also directs commercials, is a radio DJ, writes essays, produces commercial products, and engages in a wide range of other expressive activities. In her private life, she is a mother of one and enjoys growing vegetables and rice.

Creative Team
Director of planning: SUGIYAMA Ou  (Shinryoiki Co., Ltd.)
Exhibition and virtual contents planner: SATOH Tetsuya (Sony Marketing Inc.)
Architecture and design: SUO Takashi (SUO, Inc.)
Planting and environmental design: SAITO Taichi (DAISHIZEN Co., Ltd.)

Global Communication Department, Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition