The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto





Tomioka Tessai: The Last Literati Painter (Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Artist’s Death)

2024.04.02 tue. - 05.26 sun.

Born into a Kyoto merchant family in the late Edo Period, Tomioka Tessai (1837–1924) was a highly accomplished painter whose work was underpinned by his profound knowledge. He devoted himself to a wide range of studies, including Confucianism and Japanese classics, taught himself the techniques of many different schools of painting, and practiced the proverb, “Read 10,000 books, travel 10,000 miles.” Tessai was reputed to be the last of the Bunjinga literati painters, and the end of 2024 marks the centenary of the master artist’s death.
In addition to Tessai’s masterpieces, this exhibition features works that have rarely been displayed in the past as well as recently rediscovered pieces. The inclusion of stationery and old books from the artist’s studio provides us with a glimpse of the artist’s daily life in the city. The first Tessai show to be held in Kyoto in 27 years, this exhibition will provide viewers with an opportunity to become more familiar with his work.

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Tectonic Shifts in Printing, Printmaking and Graphic Design 1957–1979

2024.05.30 thu. - 08.25 sun.

With the advent of the mass communication era, postwar Japan saw dramatic advancements in printing technology and increasingly close ties between art and popular culture. This also led to a great deal of attention being focused on the relationship between printing and graphic design.
This exhibition centers on the International Biennial Exhibition of Prints in Tokyo, an event that was held 11 times between 1957 and 1979, providing emerging printmakers and designers of the day with valuable exposure. It also features works by artists associated with the biennial from the National Museum of Art Collection. The exhibition reexamines the possibilities opened up by printing technology and their significance for our current era through the intersection of printmaking and graphic design in diverse visual artworks of the era.
* Main Image: Kimura Hideki, Pencil 2-3, 1974 silkscreen print on section paper The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto

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The Work of Shiro Kuramata: A Microcosmos of Memory

2024.06.11 tue. - 08.18 sun.

In 1965, Kuramata Shiro (1934-1991) established the Kuramata Design Office, and in addition to making interior designs, primarily for shops, he created furniture on an independent basis. In the 1980s, he took part in Memphis, a movement launched by an Italian design group, and expanded his practice internationally. As indicated by key works like Glass Chair and Miss Blanche, Kuramata developed richly poetic pieces using materials such as acrylic, glass, and steel mesh, which had previously never been used in interior design or furniture. In this exhibition, we present a career-spanning overview of Kuramata Shiro’s works, including design drawings, sketches, and entries from his dream diary , alongside the artist’s own words. * Main Image: KURAMATA Shiro, Glass Chair, 1976, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto /photo: Tadayuki Minamoto ©Kuramata Design Office

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Love Fashion:In Search of Myself

2024.09.13 fri. - 11.24 sun.

While wearing clothes is a universal practice, it also contains human desires. Moreover, these desires can sometimes be accompanied by conflicts, contradictions, and enthusiasm. Fashion is a reflection of the desire or love that each of us holds within us. It is an expansive kaleidoscopic world of color. In this exhibition, drawn primarily from the collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute, we consider various forms of ‘LOVE’ as it relates to fashion along with artworks that shed light on the fundamental drives and instincts of human beings and other living things. Viewers will have a chance to reconsider what it means to wear clothes. *Loewe / Jonathan Anderson, Dress (detail), Autumn/ Winter 2022, © The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Takeru Koroda

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Past Exhibitions