Past Exhibitions

  • February 11 –June 14 October 25, 2020

Kitawaki Noboru: To See the Universe in a Seed

Primarily from the Museum Collection

Kitawaki Noboru, Diagram of I Ching Divination (Heaven and Earth), 1941

The avant-garde painter Kitawaki Noboru (1901–1951) was active in Kyoto in the 1930s and 1940s. Thus far, his work has generally been discussed in terms of Surrealist influence. For example, this aptly describes his approach in Airport (1937) of generating fantastical imagery through association of shapes, so the maple seed pods can also be seen as planes. However, this exhibition aims to examine what Kitawaki was actually seeking to accomplish in referencing the ideas and techniques of Surrealism: to decode the invisible laws behind the world around us, and visually reveal a model of his worldview. Based on this philosophical mindset, Kitawaki produced paintings that reference not only Surrealism, but also mathematics, the natural science of Goethe, and ancient Chinese divination.

Here we shed light on the development of Kitawaki’s distinctive approach, in which he sought a unification of all the laws of heaven and earth as if condensed in a single seed that sprouts, grows, blossoms, bears fruit and produces new seeds.

Kitawaki Noboru: To See the Universe in a Seed List

Gallery 4 (2nd floor)

February 11 –June 14, 2020 October 25, 2020
10:00 – 17:00 *Last admission is 30 minutes before closing.
Until further notice, the hours are not extended on Fridays and Saturdays.
Closed on Mondays (except February 24, August 10 and September 21 ), February 25, August 11 and September 23, 2020
*Temporary closure: February 29 - June 3
→See also Monthly Calender
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.
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo


*Due to circumstances, this APP (Catalogue Pocket) will not be available from June 15 to June 22.

Art Museum

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


CLOSED today

October 4, 2022 (Tue)