Current Exhibitions

  • February 28 - May 21, 2017

Animals, Animals, Animals,

From the Museum Collection


OTSUKA Mokichi, Cat (2005 The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo)

TAGUCHI Yoshikuni, Flamed panel, transparency picture, "Dog" (1985 The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo)

List of Works

Cranes, turtles, clams, dragonflies, mandarin ducks, dogs, hawks, tigers, dragons, phoenixes: there is no end to the animals used as motifs in crafts. At times they have also provided indispensable materials and tools for creating works.

Animal motifs, from the beginning, have conveyed prayers and wishes: Cranes and turtles signify long life, clams good harvests, and dragonflies victory in war. The significance of these motifs changes from one era to another. Fundamentally, however, they always express the forms and habitual behaviors of animals in their natural surroundings.

In the modern era, craft artists began to use animal motifs in ways that would not have been imagined earlier. Experimenting with forms that made effective use of the distinctive characteristics of materials and techniques, artists turned small eggshell fragments into soft coats of fur or transformed the hard shine of pounded metal into an expression of a hawk’s daring.

The affactionate gaze that emerges when artists and small animals grow closer together evokes the sympathy of those who see them. Please enjoy the variety of materials and techniques and the lively forms of the animals on display here.


Artist Talk

Date: March 5, 2017
Time: 14:00-15:00

Free Program ( But Museum admission required. ) *Offered in Japanese only

Gallery Talk

Date:  April 16, 2017
Time: 14:00-15:00

Free Program ( But Museum admission required. ) *Offered in Japanese only


Touch & Talk: Guided by Volunteer Staff Members

14:00-15:00 on Wednesdays and Saturdays during exhibition periods.

Free Program ( But Museum admission required. ) *Offered in Japanese only

English guide is available upon request.


Looking at craft pieces, you may wonder what they are made of, or how they are made. You may also want to touch them. To meet such requests, Touch & Talk programs are given at the Crafts Gallery by volunteer docent. Since pieces and topics in focus vary each time offered, you can enjoy participation any number of times. We look forward to your joining us.

Hours & Admissions

Crafts Gallery
February 28, 2017 - May 21, 2017
Last admission is 30 minutes before closing.
Mondays (except March 20, 27, April 3 and May 1), March 21, 2017
Day ticket (Group of 20 persons or more)
Adults ¥210(100)
Students (college/university) ¥70(40)

*All prices include tax.
Free for high school students, under 18, seniors(65 and over), Campus Members, MOMAT passport holders.
Persons with disability and one person accompanying them are admitted free of charge.
Free Admission Days:
March 5, April 2, May 7, 18, 2017
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

Crafts Gallery

1-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0091


OPEN today

April 29, 2017 (Sat)
10:00 - 17:00
Last Admission : 16:30

Today's Events