New curator for the cultural programme for NL at Osaka

The Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education, Culture and Science have commissioned Rotterdam’s Nieuwe Instituut to curate the cultural programme for the participation of the Netherlands at the World Expo 2025 in Osaka, Kansai, Japan. Expo 2025 will take place from Sunday 13 April to Monday 13 October 2025.

NI Rotterdam

Nieuwe Instituut will develop a programme that spans the breadth of cultural fields and partners—both in the Netherlands and Japan—in responding to the overarching theme of the Netherlands participation: Common Ground. Common Ground brings people together to solve global challenges. At Expo 2025, the Netherlands pavilion aims to be a meeting space where people can share innovative ideas and explore new methods of living.

Aric Chen, General and Artistic Director of the Nieuwe Instituut, says: “In confronting global challenges, as the Dutch participation and Expo 2025 Osaka aim to do, it is important to look to technological, economic, and political responses, but these are not enough. We also need to change ways of seeing, thinking, doing and imagining, which is where culture comes in.” 

In line with the narrative of the Dutch pavilion, the cultural programme will celebrate the differences that allow for learning and exchange, and bring people together to reach sustainable and innovative solutions that might solve global challenges. 

Nieuwe Instituut will involve a wide variety of cultural disciplines in shaping the programme: from fashion to photography, from gaming to breakdance, from poetry to art, from design to theatre, and from architecture to gardening. This will lead to a diverse, inclusive, and multivocal programme taking place both in and around the Netherlands pavilion at the Expo 2025 site, and beyond.

Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan will take place from Sunday 13 April to Monday 13 October 2025. Click here for more information on the theme of Expo 2025 and here for more on the Netherlands participation. Questions related to the culture programme can be addressed to