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5 Art Exhibitions to Visit in Tokyo

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Waseda chapter.

The sheer size of Tokyo’s population, its blinding city lights, and the quick pace of life can be overwhelming for some. At times, we all feel like we need to withdraw from the city and find refuge somewhere else. A quick weekend trip to the lusher and greener landscapes of the countryside could be an option by why not withdraw into the world of art? Especially now with the sweltering heat of summer, you may be in the mood for indoor activities. Tokyo has dozens of amazing museums to offer and we have personally curated a list of exhibitions for you!

1. Go-Betweens -the World seen through Children

Photo: TimeOut Japan

The exhibition presents “various boundaries – including the one between real and imaginary worlds – through the eyes of a child”. Through the images of children of diverse backgrounds, this exhibition does not only highlight social issues (such as education, politics and immigration), but it also focuses on the children’s emotions. The exhibition presents works by 26 top artists and artist groups from around the world.

Venue: Mori Art MuseumPeriod: 5/31-8/31Opening hours: 10:00-22:00 (Tuesdays 10:00-17:00)Admission: ¥1,500 (Adult), ¥1,000 (University/High school student)Official Website: http://www.mori.art.museum/english/contents/go_betweens/index.html

2. Children On Canvas- The bond between Great Artists and their offspring

Photo: Fashion Headline Japan

The exhibition presents the special bonds between a parent and his/her child as well as between an artist and his/her model through the portraits of children as depicted by their artist parents. The original exhibition ‘Les Enfants Modèles’ that was held at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris in 2009 attracted visitors of more than 200,000. Feel the warmth and gentle love expressed in these works – a total of about 90 pieces – on display including pieces by Monet, Matisse, Renoir, and Picasso.

Venue: Mori Arts Center GalleryPeriod: 4/19-6/29Opening hours: 10:00-22:00 (Tuesdays 10:00-17:00)Admission: ¥1,500 (Adult), ¥1,200 (University student), ¥800 (High school student)Official website: http://www.ntv.co.jp/kodomo/english/index.html

3. mission [SPACExART]-beyond Cosmologies

Photo: teamLab

The exhibition aims to explore the unparalleled fascination with ‘space’ that continues to inspire and influence creativity in many fields. It presents varied views with regards to space and art, art and entertainment as well as science and imaginative expression. An interesting point to note is that the exhibition is presented in various eclectic forms. Expect to see parts of satellites and rockets (fairings), literature, manga and anime that relate to space as well as interactive exhibits as part of the curated works.  Discussions and other events are also held throughout the period to to “explore the new possibilities that ‘reflect the expanding/converging world’“.

Venue: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT)Period: 6/7-8/31Opening hours: 10:00-18:00 (Fridays 10:00-21:00)/Closed on MondaysAdmission: ¥1,300 (Adult), ¥1,000 (University student), ¥800 (High school student)Official website: http://www.mot-art-museum.jp/eng/exhibition/cosmology.html

4.  Balthus: A retrospective

Photo: WikiArt

Balthus (1908-2001) was a Polish-French modern artist and is regarded as one of the most acclaimed yet controversial artists of the 20th century. Stylistically, Balthus is primarily classical and he also delves into figurative art. Throughout his career, he declined having his biographical profile displayed alongside his pieces which enshrouded him in mystery. This is the first posthumous exhibition of his works in Japan, and includes his masterpieces “Thésèse dreaming” and “Alice in the mirror”.

Venue: Tokyo Metropolitan Art MuseumPeriod: 4/19-6/22Opening hours: 9:30-17:30/Closed on MondaysAdmission: ¥1,600 (Adult), ¥1,300 (University student), ¥800 (High school student)Official website: http://www.tobikan.jp/en/exhibition/h26_balthus.html

5. Sato Tokihiro: Presence or Absence

Photo: Japan Times

Tokihiro Sato is one of Japan’s most famous photography artists. Sato is well-known for his interactive play with light, space and the body. He uses large-format camera for exposures that last from one to three hours, and within this time, he moves through the space to create shinning lights or illuminated lines drawn with flashes made by reflecting mirrors. Mostly focusing on his prints; this exhibition presents 70 of Sato’s photographs.

Venue: Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of PhotographyPeriod: 5/13-7/13Opening hours: 10:00 to 18:00(until 20:00 on Thursdays and Fridays)/Closed on MondaysAdmission: ¥700 (Adult), ¥600 (University student), ¥500 (High school student)Website: http://syabi.com/e/contents/exhibition/index-2239.html

Born and raised in Taiwan Currently studying liberal arts in Waseda university Love food, movies and cooking :)