Friday, July 16, 2010

National Art Center, Tokyo

Now that I am back from my trip, one of the things I want to do is list individually both the things I thought were worth seeing, and any travel tips I may have picked up. This is the first post in that vein, about a place I happened to find from a Subway poster, the National Art Center, Tokyo.

I thought I was going to see the Man Ray exhibit (see poster below), but what was actually there was a traveling show from one of my favorite museums in the world, the Musée d’Orsay. It was a tremendous exhibit that left me absolutely floored.

This is from their website:
"The National Art Center, Tokyo is a unique and innovative art exhibition facility: Instead of maintaining a permanent collection, it makes the most of a total of 14,000 square meters of exhibition space, one of the largest in Japan, and focuses on serving as a venue for various art exhibitions. The Center also promotes outreach activities through its educational programs, and the Art Library serves to collect and disseminate information related to art.
Located in Tokyo, an international city that attracts people, products, and information from all over Japan as well as the rest of the world, the Center will provide people with opportunities to experience diverse values and contribute to bringing forth a new culture based on the idea of mutual understanding and symbiotic relationship."
So basically the center serves as a rotating exhibit space. But it is also a fantastic architectural space, with several cafes and restaurants, a museum shop, and great public spaces to just sit and relax. It really made me wish that Florence had a place like this - large indoor spaces where the public felt welcome to linger, that also involved great art and a cultural experience.

If you are planning a visit to Tokyo, I would definitely think about adding this to your itinerary. The exhibit calendar, in English, is here.

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