The Mori Art Museum to Reopen in Spring 2015 After Renovation Work

The Mori Art Museum to Reopen in Spring 2015 After Renovation Work

On Saturday, April 25, 2015, Mori Art Museum will reopen after a period of temporary closure for renovation work (January 5 - April 24, 2015).

Embracing the concepts of "contemporary" and "international," Mori Art Museum has, from the beginning, staged concurrently "major curated exhibitions" aimed at showcasing the diverse trends in global contemporary art and "MAM Projects" aimed at supporting the activities of promising young artists from around the world. Now, more than ten years after its opening, as globally expanding contemporary art becomes increasingly complex, Mori Art Museum like all contemporary art museums faces the new task of finding ways to share with as many layers of visitors as possible the cultural, social and historical background peculiar to artworks produced in various different regions.

Given this situation, Mori Art Museum is taking the occasion of renovation work to develop three new small programs ? "MAM Collection," "MAM Screen" and "MAM Research"? in addition to the existing "major curated exhibitions" and "MAM Projects." By adding additional layers to our exhibition programs, we hope to provide visitors with a richer experience of contemporary art of the world in all its diversity.

In the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, we hope you will continue to support the Mori Art Museum as we transition to a new stage in our history as a contemporary art museum that is open to the world, and as an important hub institution for contemporary art in Asia.

SIMPLE SHAPES

Exhibition Period: April 25 [Sat] - July 5 [Sun], 2015

Organizers: Mori Art Museum, Centre Pompidou Metz
Special Organizer: Fondation d'entreprise Herme?s
In Association with: l'Ambassade de France / Institut Franc?ais du Japon
Curators: Jean de Loisy (President, Palais de Tokyo), Nanjo Fumio (Director, Mori Art Museum)

The modern era has produced numerous artworks of simple beauty. In Europe between the 19th and 20th centuries, such "simple shapes" were rediscovered in the fields of mathematics, mechanical engineering, biology, geology and archeology, having a significant impact in such areas as industrial products and architectural design. A number of masterpieces of modern art were inspired by them also, artists having been captivated by their graceful charm.

Such simple and beautiful shapes within them are also found in nature and in many of the world' s traditional cultures. "Simple shapes" such as those found in stone implements and bird stones are seen in much of the folk art and primitive art from around the world. In Japan, a similar aesthetic takes on a physical form in crafts, the tea ceremony and Zen Buddhist paintings.

Incorporating a dynamic, cutting-edge installation of contemporary art, this exhibition will present "simple shapes," showing their geographical expansion and their historical connections and depicting the form of universal beauty they have in common, a beauty that transcends time and space.

In the increasingly complex world in which we live today, what questions do unadorned, modest and back-to-basics "simple shapes" pose about true richness in living?

* With the generous support of Fondation d'entreprise Herme?s, the exhibition held at Centre Pompidou Metz (June 13, 2014 - January 5, 2015) will travel to Japan and be restructured by the Mori Art Museum.

Participating Artists (TBC) * in alphabetical order of the artists' surnames

Jean Arp, Karl Blossfeldt, Constantin Brancusi, BRASSAI?, Marc Couturier, Marcel Duchamp, Albrecht Du?rer, Olafur Eliasson, Lucio Fontana, Suzanna Fritscher, Ellsworth Kelly, Yves Klein, Kupka (Kupka Frantisek), Lee Ufan, Man Ray, Etienne-Jules Marey, Anthony McCall, John Mccracken, Patrick Neu, Barnett Newman, Nishikawa Katsuhito, Nam June Paik, Antoine Pevsner, Emmanuel Saulnier, Jose? Maria Sicilia, Edward Steichen, Sugimoto Hiroshi, Tanaka Nobuyuki, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tsai Charwei, James Turrell, Xavier Veilhan

Dinh Q. Le?

Exhibition Period: July 25 [Sat] - October 12 [Mon], 2015 Organizer: Mori Art Museum

Curator: Araki Natsumi (Curator, Mori Art Museum)

Born in 1968 in Ha? Tie?n, a Vietnamese town near the Cambodian border, Dinh Q. Le? immigrated with his family to the U.S. at the age of ten to escape the Khmer Rouge. After studying photography and media art, Le? attracted attention with his tapestries made by weaving together strips of photographs, a process inspired by traditional Vietnamese grass mat weaving. Woven into this series of works are images chosen from among a variety of motifs including the Vietnam War, Cambodian ruins and Hollywood movies, with different images coming to the fore, depending on the angle from which they are viewed.

Based on thorough research and interviews, Le? throws light on history as it is told through actual personal experiences. In The Farmers and the Helicopters (2006), the video installation that made Le?' s name known to the world, Le? cleverly depicts the complex relationship between the Vietnamese people and war by focusing on a Vietnamese man who attempts to develop his own helicopter. Light and Belief: Sketches of Life from the Vietnam

War (2012), presented at the previous documenta in Kassel, comprises 100 drawings and watercolors by former war artists together with a video that vividly recalls the youth these artists spent in wartime.

In today' s world where globalization is continuing and values diversifying, looking again at history from the stories of individuals who have undergone events whose facts have been overshadowed by "official" national and social histories is an extremely important issue. Through the unique artwork of Dinh Q. Le?, one of the most successful artists in Asia today, this exhibition explores new, more intimate ways of looking at the world and history.

NEW PROGRAMS

Sequentially Introducing the Collection by the Museum at the Gallery of Its Own

MAM Collection

Since the summer of 2005, Mori Art Museum has been building up its collection with an emphasis on new works commissioned for its exhibitions. This collection, which focuses on contemporary art from Japan and elsewhere in Asia, currently comprises 286 works. Collecting and presenting artworks to the public is one of the fundamental activities of any art museums, and with the "MAM Collection" gallery of its own, we will be able to sequentially introduce the Collection. Also, by enabling the museum' s curators to select artworks in accordance with set themes and exhibit them in a living space-like environment, such "MAM Collection" exhibitions will help realize the Mori Art Museum' s motto of "Art + Life."

Revived As a Stand-Alone, Video-Screening Program

MAM Screen

"MAM Screen" launched at the time of Mori Art Museum's opening and ran until February 2013, each month presenting video works related to exhibitions at Mori Art Museum on several giant screens, PDP monitors, et al., throughout Roppongi Hills. Taking advantage of the improved video screening and lecture facilities that are being installed during the renovation work, "MAM Screen" is being revived as a stand-alone program offering screenings of single-screen video works. As well as enabling the museum' s curators to put together video programs in accordance with set themes, the new facilities will provide an environment in which visitors can view at leisure not only full-length films and videos that they rarely get to see in their entirety at exhibitions, but also video works that the museum has collected and the video artworks that form part of the increasingly diverse contemporary expressions, ensuring a more satisfying theatrical experience.

Research Processes of Exhibitions Showcased As an Independent Program

MAM Research

Japanese and Asian contemporary art is one of the main focuses of the Mori Art Museum's programs, yet "Asia" covers a broad territory, making it difficult to grasp an overall picture of it. In recent years, progress has been made on historical and comparative research into modern art in the Asia region which has developed in various ways. In light of this situation, the newly established "MAM Research" program will seek to shed light on the historical, political and cultural contexts that underpin Asian contemporary art today by focusing on individual artists, curators, art movements and art institutions throughout Asia and gathering together these various "fragments" that make up Asia. "MAM Research" is premised on collaborative projects with archives, research bodies and researchers around Asia, and it is anticipated that Mori Art Museum will serve as a platform for a wide variety of discussions. As well, by not limiting the actual displays to "artworks" but also incorporating such materials as photographs, texts and historical records, it is hoped that visitors will get a more real sense of the historical and cultural background to the artworks.

Although it is likely that some of this research will be reflected in major exhibitions in the future, for the time being the focus of the project will be to accumulate and share with visitors a range of knowledge and varied points of view relating to Asia.

"MAM Research" will be held alternately in the same space as "MAM Projects," which is aimed at supporting the activities of promising young artists from around the world.

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