Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) will celebrate its Grand Reopening in late March 2019, almost three years after closing to upgrade its equipment and improve its utility as a museum building. The renovation is the first major rehab of the building since the museum's inauguration in 1995.
To mark the Grand Reopening, MOT will hold two concurrent exhibitions--one in its special exhibition galleries (3 floors) and one in its collection galleries (2 floors)--to thoroughly display its collection on a large scale in the entire space of the museum.
The collection of MOT consists of some 5,200 works in total. At its core are 3,000 pieces relocated to MOT, upon its opening in 1995, from Ueno's Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, a home for exhibitions of contemporaneous art since 1926. An additional 2,200 pieces have been acquired by MOT. Distinguishing the collection are artworks of striking originality that captured attention in each era--works which looked in new directions and broke from conventional lineages of art history. Through exhibits installed throughout the entire museum, this Grand Reopening presentation will comprehensively re-examine the collection at MOT, whose scope extends from avant-garde works of the pre- and postwar years to contemporary works created in this century. To broadly inquire into MOT's significance as a museum that has examined the artistic endeavors of each successive era will be a valuable undertaking at a time when MOT is embarking anew.
The Special Exhibition will take new perspectives on MOT's collection to substantiate the special character of its holdings--artworks acquired through exhibitions and investigative research, and archival materials held in the museum library. The MOT Collection exhibition, meanwhile, will focus on the collection's most recent additions and feature works acquired in recent years.
This exhibition will survey the Japanese art of the past 100 years, from the 1910s to 2010s, through works mainly in the museum's collection. Its aim--to show how the artists, by taking a discerning critical perspective, have selected strands of already established and radically new styles and techniques, and woven their own distinctive worlds. From the 1920s era of KISHIDA Ryusei to the present day, artists in each generation have studied the issues specific to their time and created works that critically examine the "circumstances of Japanese art."
In its narrative on modern and contemporary Japanese art, the exhibition will not situate the artists in the context of a static view of history; instead it will look at the particular practice of the artist who, by selectively adopting elements, was able to arouse his subject. It will furthermore display artworks whose subject matter relates to the Kiba district where the museum is located, a community that has witnessed dramatic change these 100 years. By surveying the artistically important works that punctuate Japanese modern / contemporary art history, in galleries on all three of the museum's floors, the exhibition will profile the history of one hundred years.
Currently, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo holds some 5,200 pieces in its collection, which spans the modern and contemporary periods with a focus on art of the postwar years. MOT regularly features the works in "MOT Collection" exhibitions, choosing a different theme each term to show the diverse appeal of contemporary art, and contriving to enable viewing the same artwork from different perspectives.
Having newly acquired some 300 works during its three-year closure, the museum will focus on these new acquisitions in its "MOT Collection" exhibitions this fiscal year, to mark its Grand Reopening. In term one, the exhibition will spotlight works produced in the 2010s and also unveil earlier collected works that have undergone restoration. In MOT's newly renovated galleries, thus, people familiar with MOT's collection and those viewing it for the first time will be able to enjoy fresh encounters with each of the works.