Hara Museum

The Hara Museum Collection at 35

25 Oct 2014 - 12 Jan 2015

© Kohei Nawa
PixCell-Bambi #2, 2006
mixed media
31.5 x 51 x 20 cm
25 October 2014 -12 January 2015

This December marks the 35th anniversary of the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art and the Hara Museum Collection. To fill the vacuum in Japan for a museum specializing in contemporary art, the Foundation Arc-en-Ciel was started in 1977. The foundation began acquiring outstanding works from Japan and abroad. Since the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art opened in 1979, the collection has grown to more than 1,000 works. In this exhibition, we showcase artworks by artists active in Japan that have graced the walls of the museum from its beginning to the present day.

One highlight of the show is a group of works by Mono-ha artists centered on Lee Ufan (Korean, b 1936), as well as other artists of the same era. In the late '60s, young artists making use of natural everyday materials such as wood, stone, metal and paper appeared under the Mono-ha banner with Lee providing the philosophical underpinnings. This group has in recent years enjoyed renewed acclaim on the international stage. Lee arrived in Japan in 1956, making it his home base as he pursued activities that spanned the world. Known for sculptural pieces comprised of stone and metal sheets and paintings created with a few brush marks and much empty space, his works inspire deep contemplation through the minimal manipulation of materials. Two years ago, the Hara Museum acquired Lee's work entitled Dialogue. The museum had previously acquired the early works From Line No.790323 (1979) and From Point No.79032 (1979), the large-scale With Winds (1990), and the sculptural piece Relatum (1991). With the addition of a masterwork from the 2000s, the collection now spans the entire arc of his career. Five representative works by Lee will be on display, as well as artworks by Koji Enokura, Kishio Suga and Katsuro Yoshida, and a permanent installation by Nobuo Sekine.* Note 1

Works acquired from solo exhibitions held at the museum constitute the core of the collection. Of these, pieces by Nobuyoshi Araki, Masako Ando, Izumi Kato, Kazumi Kurigami, Hiroe Saeki, Eiichiro Sakata, Rika Noguchi, Tomoko Yoneda, and Miwa Yanagi are showcased. Also on view are the various sculptures and other permanent installations by Yoshihiro Suda, Yoshitomo Nara, Tatsuo Miyajima and Yasumasa Morimura and others, that dot the outside grounds or utilize the indoor spaces of a museum that was once a private residence - works which may be considered the face of the Hara Museum. The result is an exhibition that traces the 35-year history of the Hara Museum and contemporary art in this period.

During this same period, the Hara Museum ARC annex in Gunma will hold a parallel exhibition, The Hara Museum Collection - 35 Years of International Exchange, focusing on selections from the Hara Museum Collection that reflect the exchange it has held with many countries over the years. These include Europe, the Americas, Oceania, Asia, and Africa. Visitors can also enjoy Yayoi Kusama's Mirror Room (Pumpkin)(1991), Tabaimo's midnight sea (2006/2008) and Olafur Eliasson’s Sunspace for Shibukawa (2009) which are on view throughout the year. *Note 2

Note 1: The three parts that comprise With Winds (1990) can be viewed inside the open-stack storage at Hara Museum ARC as part of a guided tour given by a museum curator from 2:30 every Sunday during the exhibition period. Reservations are required.
Note 2: The Hara Museum Collection – 35 Years International Exchange at Hara Museum ARC will be on from October 11 (Saturday), 2014 to January 4 (Sunday), 2015.

Tags: Nobuyoshi Araki, Olafur Eliasson, Koji Enokura, Yayoi Kusama, Tatsuo Miyajima, Yasumasa Morimura, Yoshitomo Nara, Rika Noguchi, Hiroe Saeki, Nobuo Sekine, Yoshihiro Suda, Kishio Suga, Tabaimo, Lee Ufan, Miwa Yanagi, Tomoko Yoneda