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Art & Photography

Is the art really interesting? An interview with curators at the Yokohama Museum of Art!

(TOP image) Yusuke Asai “The Tree of Life” 2019 (Exhibition)

Have you ever been to a museum?
The Yokohama Museum of Art opens its 30th anniversary this year. The title of the first exhibition project, “The Yokohama Museum of Art 30th Anniversary Meet the Collection — Art, People, Art Museum”. It feels like "Welcome!" To those who have never had an edge in the museum. From such a thought, I asked Mr. Shintaro Matsunaga, Chief Curator of Yokohama Museum of Art, "How to get in touch with art" that can be enjoyed even by art beginners!

Art can be a problem without knowing what to look for.

Although it is my subjectivity, communication with art is a sense close to communication with people. When the other person is a person, you may get used to it just by looking at looks and facial expressions, or you may be silent and expressionless, and you may not know unless you meet and talk over and over again. Also, even if you do not understand it, you may think that it is "interesting person", and there are some who do not agree until the end. Art is the same thing.

The works represent the artist's way of thinking and the world view, so there are works that can be entered easily and works that are not. Recognizing the difference in thinking and sense with the other party, feeling the diversity is the existence significance of the art, I think that it is to be required of the art museum to function as a "place of encounter" with such diversity You are
For example, the “Monet 100 Years Later” exhibition held at the hotel last year was designed from that idea. Monet's popular works in Japan and contemporary art with many people who are not good at it. By displaying two worlds side by side, there is not a sense that you can see in places that are not logicalIt was a proposition.

It is a simple question. Is art necessary for us?

There are various ways of thinking, but I think that what is necessary for people to live is not only clothes, food and housing. Do you feel that the world where the criteria are decided from the logical numbers of economic priority and bound only to the ones with answers, is very stuffy?
I think art is a breakthrough to be released from there.

Outside of Japan, there is a hospital that gives a prescription for "Go to the art museum" to people with mental illness. The role may change with the times, but I think that museums as places to touch art are necessary for people's lives and the city.

What kind of exhibition is "Meet the Collection-Art, People and Art Museum" currently being held?

I think it is an exhibition that can be enjoyed with "element" without specialized knowledge or prejudice.
I always plan and organize based on the curator's ideas and research, but this time I had four contemporary artists participate, and from each point of view they had the "cooking" of our collection. More specifically, we have four exhibition rooms out of a total of seven rooms, with a form that you pick up your favorite works from all the collections held by the Yokohama Museum of Art and collaborate with new and upcoming artists.
The base is the collection of Yokohama Art MuseumSo, as a curator, I have a passion for every single piece of work and artist. But this time, there was a lot of entrustment to the artist's sense and judgment about each exhibition space, so from our point of view, there were many surprises, "Hmm, do you choose this?"

* Yusuke Asai “The Tree of Life” 2019 (Exhibition)

For example, among the works selected by Yusuke Sakurai, there were several works that I personally had a “scary” image. I asked a few times, "Is the work fit in the space of Mr. Sakurai?", But in the end it is as it is (laughs). However, when I saw it in the space of the exhibition room actually created by Ms. Sakurai, the facial expressions of the work looked different. One art has various phases, and it can show completely different expressions depending on the situation and context in which it is placed. As human beings are, I felt once again that art works are by no means one-sided.

* From Chapter 5, "Connecting Images"

If a curator plans an exhibition method that can not be achieved without much courage, the proposal from the artist will be "Yeah, let's do it!" (Laughs), so the process of making it has never been so exciting There was saga.
"" * From Chapter 7 "The Expanding World"

There are also cases where you are displaying the famous items you are familiar with in an unusual atmosphere, and there are also works that you have few opportunities to exhibit while holding them. I hope you will enjoy the various expressions of various art works from your perspective.

Meet the Collection — Art, People, Art Museum

[Date and time] Until Sunday, June 23 10:00 to 18:00
※ Every Friday and Saturday until 20:00, admission is 30 minutes before closing.
[Closed day] Thursday, May 7 (Tuesday) * However, 5/2 (Thu, holiday) will be open
[Venue] Yokohama Museum of Art
[Charge] General ¥ 1,100, university / high school student ¥ 700, junior high school student ¥ 500, elementary school children or less free, age 65 or older ¥ 1,000 (certificate required, only available at museum ticket office)
※ Free viewing on Sunday, June 2
※ We are free for high school students and below every Saturday (needs student certificate, student ID card)
※ One person with a disability certificate and one (one person) free of charge
[TEL] 045-221-0300 (Yokohama Museum of Art)


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    Yokohama Museum of Art opened to the public on November 3, 1989. It is one of the largest art institutions in Japan. With its iconic architecture, featuring the expansive space of the Grand Gallery, the museum is made up of a total of seven gallery spaces, as well as an Art Information and Media Center that holds over 110,000 art-related books, ateliers hosting a wide range of workshops for children and adults, and many other facilities.
    Located in the international seaport city of Yokohama, the museum focuses on collecting and showing modern and contemporary art created since the late 19th century, when the port of Yokohama opened, alongside many special exhibitions.

    The outward appearance:KASAGI Yasuyuki / Grand gallery:KASAGI Yasuyuki / Exhibition room:TANAKA Yuichiro

    • Shop / Place name
      Yokohama Museum of Art
      Detail >
    • Address
      Minatomirai 3-4-1, Nishi-ku, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture

      Yokohama Museum of Art
    • TEL
    • Business Hour
      From 10:00 to 18:00 (until 17:30 for admission) Closed on Thursdays and New Year holidays