Yearly Calendar 2021

2021(January–December, 2021)

Talks & Tours in the Museum Collection Gallery
Schedule may be changed without notice.

Special Exhibition Gallery

Ayashii : Decadent and Grotesque Images of Beauty in Modern Japanese Art

Kainosho Tadaoto, Yokogushi (A Comb in the Side Hair), c. 1916, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto

March 23–May 16, 2021
*Closed on Mondays except March 29 and May 3; and May 6

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  Japan in the Meiji period (1868–1912) received Western knowledge and technology in every field. Inspired by the Western counterpart, Japanese art also adapted itself to the new era.

  Many works produced under the circumstances contain expressions other than “simple beauty,” such as decadence, sensuousness, grotesqueness, and eroticism. Stirring controversy in the art world, this tendency reached the populace through art and illustrations for literature as the reflections of people’s desire and anxiety in a turbulent age. illustrations for literature
  This exhibition illustrates the trend with paintings, prints, and illustrations from magazines and books produced in the period from the mid-19th century until around 1930.



Kuma Kengo: Five Purr-fect Points for a New Public Space

Kuma Kengo, V&A Dundee, 2018 ©Hufton+Crow

June 18–September 26, 2021
*Closed on Mondays except July 26, August 2, 9, 30, and September 20; August 10 and September 21

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  This is a major solo exhibition of Kuma Kengo (b. 1954), one of the leading architects in modern Japan who has taken part in the design of the Japan National Stadium. As exemplified by V&A Dundee that opened in 2018 in Scotland and was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the “World’s Greatest Places 2019,” his architecture fascinates people all over the world as places suggestive of publicness in the new era. This show classifies his works under five principles—hole, particle, softness, obliqueness, and time—and presents models, photographs, and commentaries by Kuma himself. It includes videos produced by artists from home and abroad including Takimoto Mikiya and Fujii Hikaru that captures the charm of Kuma’s architecture from a variety of perspectives, as well as “A Plan for Tokyo, 2020: Five Purr-fect Points for Feline Architecture,” a collaboration with Takram based on an analysis of urban life from cats’ point of view.





100 Years of Mingei: The Folk Crafts Movement

Slipware dish, England, late 18th century to the late 19th century, The Japan Folk Crafts Museum

October 26, 2021–February 13, 2022
*Closed on: Mondays except January 10; December 27–January 1, and January 11

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  What is heightening the interest in Mingei (lit. folk crafts)? Is it because of the rise in the interest in designing new ways of life? Or is it because of the interest in local color and handwork traditions that still survives in Japan? In any case, it is amazing that an aesthetic concept created a century ago still inspires people to this day—one created by Yanagi Soetsu, Hamada Shoji, and Kawai Kanjiro who noticed the beauty of daily utensils. Commemorating the 60th anniversary of Yanagi Soetsu’s death, this exhibition throws a new light on the ever-changing history of Mingei through more than 450 exhibits including daily utensils such as ceramics, textiles, woodwork, straw raincoats, and baskets selected from Mingei collections from every corner of Japan, folk paintings such as Otsu-e (lit. Otsu painting, named after the town of Otsu), and a wealth of contemporary materials including magazines, books, photographs, and films. We hope that a knowledge about the deep history of Mingei will help open up future possibilities for the movement.



Kaburaki Kiyokata: A Retrospective

Kaburaki Kiyokata, Tsukiji Akashi-cho Town, 1927 ©Nemoto Akio

March 18–May 8, 2022
*Closed on: Mondays except March 21, 28, and May 2; and March 22

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  Our museum has acquired one of the masterpieces by Kaburaki Kiyokata (1878–1972), Tsukiji Akashi-cho Town (1927) that had been missing for many years, along with Shintomi-cho Town and Hama-cho Gashi Zone (both 1930), a trilogy rediscovered in 2019. This is a major retrospective of the painter that presents 110 Japanese-style paintings including the trilogy.

  Staying mindful of his early career as an ukiyo-e-style illustrator, Kaburaki always borrowed motifs for his works from the life of the common people, literature, and public entertainment until his last years. Paying attention to the “unchangingness” of his interest, this exhibition presents his works in parallel arrangement under several themes. As people’s life and sentiments underwent radical changes after the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake and World War II, the painter never changed his scope of interest. Kaburaki’s beliefs and works will have deep resonance with people now living in Japan who have experienced earthquakes and are suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gallery 4

Hallucinating Lenses Primarily from the Museum Collection

KAWADA,Kikuji Crows and Mystery Cloud, Tokyo,1995 from The Last Cosmology, 1995

March 23–May 16, 2021
*Closed: Mondays ( except March 29 and May 3 ) and May 6, 2021

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 Cameras are thought to be devices that objectively reflect the world. When connected with photographers’ imagination, however, cameras—the mechanical eye different from the human eye—sometimes open the door to hallucination.
 Centering on Kawada Kikuji’s The Last Cosmology and Fukase Masahisa’s Ravens, this show explores another aspect of photography. You are invited to view this exhibition along with Ayashii: Decadent and Grotesque Images of Beauty in Modern Japanese Art being presented simultaneously.




The Challenges and Joys of Steel: David Smith's Circle Ⅳ and Other Sculptures From the Museum Collection

David Smith, Circle Ⅳ ,1962
Photography: Otani Ichiro

June 18–September 26, 2021
*Closed: Mondays (except July 26, August 2, 9, 30, and September 20), August 10 and September 21

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The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo recently purchased Circle IV (1962) by David Smith (1906–65), one of the most renowned American postwar sculptors. This work is the centerpiece of this mini-exhibit that examines the importance of steel, newly adopted as a
sculptural material, in the development of postwar sculpture. In contrast to traditional sculpture processes such as carving wood or stone, shaping clay, or casting in bronze, Smith welded steel plates and frames to connect geometric planes and lines and generate dynamic spaces,
broadly expanding the possibilities of sculpture. This approach was further developed by the British sculptor Anthony Caro. Meanwhile, in Japan, sculptors working with steel emerged in the mid–1950s, treating the material with a range of methodologies. Some regarded it as an optimal material for geometric compositions, while others sought to bring it to life by working closely with its intrinsic physical properties, such as surfaces’ rusting over time or their brilliance when polished. Steel is a familiar material in our daily lives, but here we invite you
to enjoy the diverse faces it reveals in the hands of artists.


*The exhibition schedule after the above dates will be updated in the future.


Collection Gallery

MOMAT Collection

 One of the largest collection exhibitions in Japan, MOMAT Collection  presents 200 works selected in each exhibition period from our collection of more than 13,000 items including Japanese- and Western-style paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs and videos.

 As the only exhibition in Japan giving you an insight into Japanese art in and after the twentieth century at a single stroke, it offers diverse ways of appreciating art by changing exhibits after every exhibition period, and by giving small thematic exhibitions.

 To provide a comfortable experience in broad galleries, we offer spacious places for relaxation including A Room With a View  overlooking the Imperial Palace and areas near Tokyo Station, as well as various chairs.


■March 23–May 16, 2021
*Closed: Mondays ( except March 29 and May 3 ) and May 6, 2021

■May 25–September 26, 2021

■October 5–February 13, 2022



*The exhibition schedule after the above dates will be updated in the future.




Art Museum

3-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8322


OPEN today

August 10, 2022 (Wed)

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