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Hiroichi Tategata's Danceable LIFE Vol.10

舘形比呂一のDanceable LIFE Vol.10

Recharge your energy with the “Yokohama Museum of Art Collection Exhibition”!
Hiroichi Tategata (actor, dancer, choreographer)

Although the coronavirus pandemic continues to be a difficult situation, there is always a chance to encounter something wonderful. This time, at the suggestion of the Magcal editorial department, I had the opportunity to tour the Yokohama Museum of Art. I had a really fun time there, so I'd like to report on all the details.

The Yokohama Museum of Art opened in 1989. It was designed by the late Kenzo Tange, one of Japan's leading architects. The symmetrical exterior is impressive and overwhelming, but once you step inside, you are greeted by a spacious grand gallery that makes you feel bright and relaxed.

Mr. Tange, who viewed architecture as ``town planning,'' said that at the planning stage he wanted to open the building 24 hours a day and create a space where people could come and go freely. Although this was not realized due to security and other reasons, it is possible to enter for free during opening hours, and concerts have been held there, so it may have been able to function as a "town square". .

When you look up at the museum from the front, there is a space like an observation room in the center.
When I asked the curator, I was surprised to hear that it was actually an observation deck!

At that time, there were no tall buildings in the area, so you could see the ocean from here.
The current view is like this. It is usually used for volunteer staff activities and is not open to the public.

In front of the museum is Grand Mall Park, where you can feel the bustle of the town envisioned by Mr. Tange. The opening of this museum may have helped the town of Minato Mirai develop to this extent.

From here, Chief Curator Yuko Katada gave us a tour of the Yokohama Museum of Art Collection Exhibition.

``The theme this time is ``Yokohama Polyphony: Yokohama and art from the 1910s to the 1960s.'' In Japan, era names have changed from Meiji to Taisho and then to Showa, and Yokohama has been affected twice by the Great Kanto Earthquake and World War II. It was a turbulent time in which people suffered devastating damage over a period of time and were able to recover from it.I would like people to see the flow of history through art.''

The first chapter from the prologue is said to correspond to the ``youth period of Western paintings'' for Japanese people, and you can feel the ``passion'' of painters who admire Western art but are searching for ``what is Japanese-ness?'' As they learn Western painting techniques and learn about overseas trends and coolness, they begin to wonder what it means to draw them themselves. I felt that the struggle of expressing yourself rather than imitating something is the same as in the world of dance.

Chapter 3 is "Recovery from the Great Kanto Earthquake."

“While there are painters who created records of the Great Kanto Earthquake, two years after the disaster an exhibition introducing French art was held at the site of the temporary city hall in front of Sakuragicho Station. It became possible to see the ``real'' Western paintings that had previously been impossible to see, and picture postcards as souvenirs also became popular.

In Chapter 6, the works of photographers were lined up.

"In 1938, the Yokohama Art Association Exhibition was the first in the country to establish a photography club. Photography, which had not been recognized as art, began to be recognized as a means of artistic expression."

What caught my eye was Tokiwa Toyoko's work. She is said to be a pioneer among female photographers, and it is wonderful that female artists were already active in Japan at this time.

Personally, I was strongly attracted to the circular exhibition room. It's a very comfortable space with high ceilings.

``This is an exhibit of ``Interior'' by Yoshishige Saito.Since before the war, he has been creating ``transparent'' works such as semi-solid and abstract expressions.This work was originally created with a rectangular interior in mind. However, in 1994, when the museum held the ``Postwar Japanese Avant-garde Art'' exhibition, it was exhibited for the first time in this circular exhibition room under the artist's own instructions.''

It's bright and open, and it's a really nice space. When you hear about avant-garde art, you tend to think it's difficult, but when you put yourself in such a wonderful art space, you feel very happy.

The last room is "Today's Artist Exhibition."

``In 1964, the Yokohama Civic Gallery opened and began holding ``Today's Artist Exhibitions'' to introduce notable contemporary artists. Here, we are introducing works by artists exhibited in the 1960s, out of the 40 years of this exhibition.

“In the 1960s, the so-called ``anti-art'' movement became active, and free expression that was not bound by existing frameworks began to emerge in Japan. We also exhibit works inspired by Japanese artists.”

Since the 1960s, it seems that there has been an increase in expressions that break away from existing art and attempt to turn spaces themselves into works, rather than paintings or sculptures.
Performing arts such as dance are inherently ephemeral worlds that disappear moment by moment, but even in art, there are an increasing number of works that are not completed as objects. Contemporary art may be something to enjoy with all five senses, including taste, smell, and touch, as well as seeing it with the eyes.

Finally, we were guided once again to the observation deck on the 8th floor.
It was completely dark outside, and the Grand Mall Park, covered in illuminations, was truly beautiful!

I had the impression that museums were somewhat "sophisticated", but today I really enjoyed it.
First of all, the presence of the museum building itself is very persuasive, so there is a real thrill to being inside it. I was also surprised to see how active the young staff members were, including Mr. Katada, who showed us around. The Yokohama Museum of Art will be closed for an extended period of time from March 2021 for renovation work. Although the exterior, which was designed by Mr. Tange, will remain largely unchanged, the air conditioning and other facilities will be reborn to be more comfortable and youthful, so I'm looking forward to it.

I heard that the last special exhibition before the museum's closure, ``Trialogue,'' includes works by my favorite Andy Warhol, so I hope you can come one more time before the museum closes.
Even then, please provide an explanation!

Yokohama Museum of Art Collection Exhibition
“Yokohama Polyphony: Yokohama and Art from the 1910s to the 1960s”
[Date and time] November 14th (Saturday) - February 28th, 2021 (Sunday) 10:00-18:00 (Admission until 17:30)
[Venue] Yokohama Museum of Art
[Closed] Thursdays (excluding February 11th), February 12th (Friday)
[Fee] General ¥500, University and high school students ¥300, Junior high school students ¥100, Free for elementary school students and younger, Free for those with a disability certificate and one caregiver
*Reservation required by date and time
[Sponsor] Yokohama Museum of Art (Yokohama City Arts and Culture Foundation)
[Inquiries] 045-221-0300 (Yokohama Museum of Art)

*Please check the website for the opening status regarding the new coronavirus.

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