Tower of the Sun

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Tower of the Sun by Tarō Okamoto, 1964.

The Tower of the Sun (太陽の塔 Taiyō no Tō?) is a building created by Japanese artist Tarō Okamoto. It was known as the symbol of Expo ’70 and currently is preserved and located in the Expo Commemoration Park in Suita, Osaka, Japan.

The tower’s height is 70 metres, the diameter at the base is 20 metres, and each of the two arms is 25 metres long.The tower has currently three faces, two faces on the front, and a face in the back. The face located at the top, whose diameter is 11 metres, represents the future. An antenna attached to it works as a conductor. In the eyes of the face, Xenon arc lamps were used during the expo, however they became decrepit and broken down after the expo. On September 25, 2004, new lights were installed next to the old ones and lit to advertise the Expo 2005.A face between two arms represents the present, and a black face on the rear of the tower is the sun of the past. Originally another face, “Sun of the Underworld” was located on the basement floor, yet currently it has been moved to an unknown location. The jagged red paintings on the front of the tower represent thunder.

Inside of the tower, an artwork called the “Tree of Life” was exhibited, and many miniatures and objects created by the Tsuburaya Productions were suspended from the tree. It was 45 metres high and represents the strength of the life heading to the future.In the tower, there were moving staircases surrounding the tree and a lift which enabled visitors to go to the upper floor. One of the lifts inside was connected to a part of the Big Roof through the opened wall, which was closed after the expo. Originally, “The Tower of Mother” and “The Tower of Youth” were also placed on the east and west area in the expo, both were created by Taro Okamoto, and later they were removed.

A miniature version of the Tower of the Sun is located in the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art. The tower has also been listed as one of the Best 100 Media Arts in Japan by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.(via wikipedia)

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