Winter Garden: The Exploration of the Micropop Imagination in Contemporary Japanese 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artists who rearrange diverse fragments of information and knowledge to give new meanings and uses to things that are outdated and commonplace.

catalog (PDF:371KB)

Domestic Exhibition (May 23 - July 20, 2009)

This touring exhibition is completed.

  • February 23 - June 23, 2019
    Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art (Haifa, Israel)
  • November 23 - December 12, 2018
    Cite de la Culture (Tunis, Tunisia)
  • September 13 - 26, 2018
    Galerie Mohamed El Fassi (Rabat, Morocco)
  • June 4 - 17, 2018
    Ankara Contemporary Arts Center (Ankara, Turkey)
  • April 18 - May 9, 2018
    Nazim Hikmet Sanat ve Kultur Evi (Istanbul, Turkey)
  • February 6 - 23, 2018
    FO.VI Gallery (Kidričevo, Slovenia)
  • January 10 - 24, 2018
    National Gallery of Bosnia&Herzegovina (Sarajevo, Bosnia&Herzegovina)
  • November 2 - December 9, 2017
    National Center for Contemporary Arts (Minsk, Belarus)
  • August 17 - September 24, 2017
    Komsomolsk-na-Amure City Museum (Komsomolsk-na-Amure, Russia)
  • July 14 - August 6, 2017
    Far Eastern Art Museum (Khabarovsk, Russia)
  • June 24 - July 4, 2017
    Sakhalin Art Museum (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia)
  • May 23 - June 9, 2017
    Museum and exhibition complex of Vladivostok State University of Economics Service (Vladivostok, Russia)

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

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)

Catalog of the exhibition

photo of Catalog of the exhibition

*Click to enlarge

This book is the catalogue of the exhibition entitled "Winter Garden: The Exploration of the Micropop Imagination in Contemporary Japanese Art." The exhibition was planned by the Japan Foundation and curated by art critic Midori Matsui to introduce a new generation of contemporary Japanese artists to the world. It will be traveling all over the world for next five to ten years.

The catalogue consists of images of all the exhibited works--35 drawings, paintings, and video works by 14 artists--and text written by Ms. Matsui. She coined the word “Micropop” to describe the mindset of the new generation of Japanese artists born in the late 1960s or after, who rearrange fragments of information and knowledge to suggest fresh ways of perceiving the world or give new meanings to the outmoded and banal. In the catalogue, she explained this new viewpoint using a lot of examples and images.

The catalogue also contains wonderful installation views of the exhibition held at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art from June to July, 2009. The catalogue is written in both English and Japanese and is available at Library.


Catalog of the exhibition “Winter Garden: The Exploration of the Micropop Imagination in Contemporary Japanese Art”
In English and Japanese/ 84 pages
ISBN: 978-4-568-10379-3
Price: ¥ 952(tax excluded)
Date of Publication: August, 2009


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