The Venice Biennale, which started as an international art exhibition in 1895, had evolved into a comprehensive arts festival by the 1930s with the addition of music, film and theater sections. Furthermore, an architecture section was newly established in 1980, and the first International Architecture Exhibition was held in the same year. Thereafter, the architecture exhibition continued to be held for a while on an irregular basis, yet since the 7th exhibition in 2000, it has been held regularly once every two years, and has become established as being presented in alternation with the art exhibition. Like the art exhibition, the architecture exhibition comprises of pavilion exhibitions by participating countries, and special exhibitions by its overall curator. Japan has been an official participant since the 5th exhibition in 1991, and like the art exhibition, engages in presenting exhibits each time at the Japan Pavilion. The Japan Pavilion was awarded the pavilion prize (Golden Lion) in 1996 (commissioner: Arata Isozaki) and 2012 (commissioner: Toyo Ito). Many Japanese architects have also been invited to take part in the special exhibitions sponsored by the Biennale Foundation, and in 2010, Kazuyo Sejima became the first woman ever to be appointed director of architecture sector for the Venice Biennale, which she curated for the 12th International Architecture Exhibition.