Winter Garden: The Exploration of the Micropop Imagination in Contemporary Japanese Art at Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

Photo of artwork titled VINYL by Lyota Yagi
Lyota Yagi VINYL (2006)
silicone, purified water, record player, freezer
©2006 Lyota Yagi
Courtesy: Mujin-to Production, Tokyo

The Japan Foundation has assembled traveling exhibitions from its own collection of artworks and actively sends them to foreign countries (The Japan Foundation Traveling Exhibitions). Traveling exhibitions may consist of works in areas such as ceramics, photographs, painting, crafts, Japanese dolls, architecture, and contemporary art.

Since the interest in Japanese pop culture has been growing all over the world, The Japan Foundation has asked Ms. Midori Matsui, an art critic, to curate the exhibition. The subject of this exhibition is the world of “Micropop” as embodied by the generation of young Japanese artists who came onto the scene during the latter half of the 1990s and the first half of the 2000s. “Micropop,” a word coined by Matsui, refers to the unique worldview of artists who rearrange diverse fragments of information and knowledge to give new meanings and uses to things that are outdated and commonplace.

The traveling exhibition begins its worldwide tour at the Hara Museum before it sets off for Cologne in September.

Overview of the exhibition

Dates Saturday, May 23 – Monday, July 20, 2009
Closed : Mondays (open on July 20)
Hours 11:00am – 5:00pm,  Wednesday until 8:00pm
(last entry 30 min. before closing)
Venue Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
4-7-25, Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 140-0001
Tel: 03-3445-0651 Fax: 03-3473-0104
* 5 min. by taxi or 15 min. on foot from JP Shinagawa Station (Takanawa exit); or from the same station take the Tan No. 96 bus, get off at the first stop (Gotenyama), and walk 3 min.
Curator Midori Matsui (art critic)
Participating Artists Ryoko Aoki / Masaya Chiba / Chim↑Pom / Masanori Handa / Taro Izumi / Makiko Kudo / Mahomi Kunikata / Tam Ochiai / Hiroe Saeki / Hiroshi Sugito / Aya Takano / Koki Tanaka / Lyota Yagi / Keisuke Yamamoto
Organized by The Japan Foundation / Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
Admission Regular : 1000 yen, HS and Univ. : 700 yen, ELEM and JHS : 500 yen
* 100 yen discount per person for groups of 20 or more
* Free for Museum members, students through high school every Saturday during the academic year.
Other * The gallery talk by the curator are held on Sundays and National Holidays. (at 2:30pm, for about 30min.)
* For further information, please visit the site (

Artwork titled might fly at night by Makiko Kudo
Makiko Kudo
might fly at night (2007)
oil on canvas, 117.0x117.0cm
©Makiko Kudo
Courtesy: Tomio Koyama Gallery

Photo of artwork titled Crying Face by Masaya Chiba
Masaya Chiba
Crying face (2008)
oil on canvas, wood, 160x93.3x30.7cm
©Masaya Chiba
Courtesy: ShugoArts

Artwork titled Turnoff Paradise sense-surfing part 1&2 by Masanori Handa
Masanori Handa
Turnoff Paradise sense-surfing part 1&2 (2007)
oil, felt-tip pen on tile, mounted on 2 wood panels, 148.0x148.0cm
Courtesy: Kodama Gallery

still photograph from DVD titled Curos Cave by Taro Izumi
Taro Izumi
Curos Cave (2005)
DVD (8min.37sec)

[Contact Us]

Visual Arts Section, Arts and Culture Department, The Japan Foundation
Tel: 03-5369-6062  Fax: 03-5369-6038

Page Top