Friday, November 19, 2010

65. Museum Review: Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

Founded in 1979, the Hara Museum was one of the first contemporary art museums in Japan.  Located in Shingawa Ward, the building was originally a private residence constructed in 1938. 

The entrance to the museum is surrounded by lovely shade trees, and a number of exhibits are scattered around the lawn.  Inside are two floors containing 5 gallery spaces and a cafe overlooking a grassy space that contains more exhibits and outdoor seating. 
The museums's collection comprises of about 1,000 works by leading and upcoming artists from around the world.  In addition to permanent sculptures in the garden, there are some very interesting permanent exhibits inside including 'My Drawing Room' by Yoshitomo Nara and 'Time Link' by Tatsuo Miyajima. 
By the way, when you wander the museum, don't hesitate to open any doors that you see.  Except for the obvious (toilet, office), behind most doors are exhibits themselves. 
On my most recent visit, the museum was holding a special exhibition for Jae-Eun Choi called 'Forests of Asoka'.  I often find the exhibits here to be quite bizarre, but was pleasantly surprised with Choi's work.  *Her exhibit runs through December 26, 2010.
This museum never seems to be busy, and they offer a couple of really tasty lunch specials, as well as some yummy desserts.  Although I don't find the garden space (above) to be that impressive, it is a quiet oasis in the city.  The garden/park of Gotenyama is directly behind the museum and entry is free.

Address:  4-7-25, Kitashinagawa, Shingawa Ward
Phone:  03-3445-0651
Hours of Operation:  11:00am - 5:00pm, Wednesdays until 8:00pm.  *Last entry 30 min. before closing.
Closed:  Mondays
Admission:  1000 yen (general), 700 (high school and univ student), 500 yen (elem and Jr high).
*Free for students through high school every Saturday during the school terms.

Directions:  5 minutes by taxi or 15 minutes by foot from Shinagawa Station (Takanawa Exit).  Or, from the same station, take the No. 96 bus, and get off at the first stop (Gotenyama), and walk 3 minutes.

1 comment:

Monkee said...

Thank you for blogging once again S.I. Your blog has proved to be very useful during my travels around Tokyo and I'm sure it will serve many more travelers in the future. I hope there will be continuing posts on Tokyo Reviews for us to discover Tokyo through your eyes, away from the mainstream, and in a far more cultural manner.