Past Exhibition Special Exhibition from the Museum Collection

Hallucinating Lenses



Art Museum Gallery 4


The English word “visionary” can be used as an adjective, meaning “hallucinatory,” “dreamlike,” or “possessed of vision or foresight,” or as a noun describing a person: “one who sees visions,” “a dreamer,” or “one with the gift of foresight and imagination.”
The word “visionary” seems at odds with the medium of photography, characterized by its ability to accurately capture the world in front of the lens. However, a great many photographs can be described as “hallucinatory,” and there are certainly photographers worthy of being called “visionaries.” Not only do such photographers exist, but indeed one might say all great photographers have no small degree of “visionary” character. When they click the shutter and capture the world before them, they perceive something invisible to others or anticipate what will happen a moment from now. This is indeed the practice of “one who sees visions” or “one with the gift of foresight and imagination.” Or perhaps it is inevitable that the camera, a “mechanical eye” that functions differently from our own, opens the door to an unfamiliar world that strikes the human viewer as strange.
In conjunction with the exhibition Ayashii: Decadent and Grotesque Images of Beauty in Modern Japanese Art, also currently on view, we invite you on a journey into the world of ayashii (mysterious, bewitching) photography.

Hours & Admissions


Art Museum Gallery 4


March 23-May 16, 2021


10:00–17:00 (Fridays and Saturdays open until 20:00)

  • From May 12 to 16 open until 20:00
  • Last admission is 30 minutes before closing.

Closed on Mondays (except March 29, 2021 and May 3, 2021), May 6, 2021
*Temporary closure from April 25


Advance ticket is recommended to avoid lines forming at the entrance.
Online purchase: 【Tiqets】【e-tix】
Tickets can be purchased on site at the ticket counters, subject to their availability.


Adults ¥500 (400)
College and university students ¥250 (200)

  • The price in brackets is for the group of 20 persons or more. All prices include tax.
    Free for high school students, under 18, seniors (65 and over), Campus Members, MOMAT passport holder.
  • Show your Membership Card of the MOMAT Supporters or the MOMAT Members to get free admission (a MOMAT Members Card admits two persons free).
  • Persons with disability and one person accompanying them are admitted free of charge.
  • Members of the MOMAT Corporate Partners are admitted free with their staff ID.

Evening Discount (From 17:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)
Adults ¥300
College and university students ¥150


The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

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