To commemorate 400 years since the Keicho diplomatic mission from Japan to Spain, a wide-ranging program of events is being held in 2013 and 2014 under the banner of celebrating the "400th Anniversary of Japan-Spain Relations." As part of this program, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC) and Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) are presenting "The Marvelous Real," an exhibition featuring the works of 27 artists selected from the collection of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC), which focuses on Spanish works from the 1990s to the present day.
Realism has featured in Spanish art since the 17th Century through exponents such as Velázquez and Goya, and this tradition can be seen in the Madrid Realism movement of the 1980's, as represented by the work of Antonio López García. The "real" of Spanish art does not refer to technique in which the subject is replicated in fine detail, but derives from the obsession amongst Spanish artists to depict what they see as the "real." This obsession stems from a desire to grasp even the surreal and the fantastical in the same way that we touch and grasp the familiar objects of our everyday lives--dragging them down to earth and engaging in a dialogue. The result can often be a vivid exaggeration (esperpento) of everyday scenes or things, and arguably this is generated from the unique and highly charged relationship between life and death. The poet Federico García Lorca wrote that "In Spain the dead are more alive than the dead of any other country in the world," and indeed, death is more vibrant than life. The works in this exhibition convey, through realism, the heaviness of life that is underpinned by an activated death. The works include those by Latin American artists, and this in itself reveals to us how the Spanish sensibility of "real" is transformed and developed in the astonishing idiosyncratic tropical culture of Central and South America.
This exhibition hints at where the "real"--the "real" that hasn't been picked up and incorporated into a globalized, networked world--resides, to suggest a way of being, "The Marvelous Real," where the "real" clearly reveals itself in the conflict between the excesses of life and the shadows of death.
Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León
Acción Cultural Española (AC/E)
Embassy of Spain in Japan
NEC Display Solutions, Ltd.
"The Marvelous Real" scheduled to be published on February 2014
These are works that depict "real" people of today in a way that only paintings can. Loneliness, alienation, the pursuit of identity, love and hate, the joy and the struggle of life, violence and contemplation--these paintings showcase the drama of life in these times, incorporating social and political issues.
The exhibition showcases the magical transformation of our world and unbelievable creative imagination generated by the country that produced Salvador Dalí, including a room in which every piece of furniture has been sliced in half, a man in a business suit riding a horse that prances through a university building, and a scene in which the stars in the sky appear to have been transferred onto the ground. These are all born from the happy marriage between Latin American magical sensibility and Spanish creative imagination.
The exhibition also features a diversity of expression that includes video, spatial installation, painting, and sculpture. From the slow flow of time in a serene painting to the extreme sense of speed in a video that could be mistaken for a documentary, this array of "fast" and "slow" media delivers an exciting visual experience to the viewer.
The "400th Anniversary of Japan-Spain Relations" is being celebrated by a series of events held between June 2013 and July 2014 to commemorate 400 years since the Keicho diplomatic mission traveled to Spain. As part of this program, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo is presenting the exhibition titled "The Marvelous Real," featuring approximately 50 works by artists from Spanish-speaking regions selected held in the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC)'s gem of a collection.
MUSAC, which was established in 2005 in the city of León in the autonomous community of Castilla y León in the northwest of Spain with the aim of being a "Museum of the Present," actively collects contemporary art that reflects our times. Through this collaboration between MOT and MUSAC in which the present is examined from two locations--Tokyo and León--our objective is to transcend geographical and cultural distances to create a platform for different ideas to come together.
Elena Fernández Prada
Julia Montilla & Juande Jarillo
MP & MP Rosado
Miguel Ángel Rojas
Fernando Sánchez Castillo
（ *in alphabetical order）
Speaker｜Manuel Olveira (Director of MUSAC)
Yuko Hasegawa / Kristine Guzmán (Curators of the exhibition)
Enrique Marty / Carlos Garaicoa / Carmela García / Kaoru Katayama (Artists from the exhibition)
Date｜February 15th (sat) 14:00-
Venue｜Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Auditorium (B2F)
February 15, 2014(Sat)-May 11, 2014(Sun)
*Last admission to the gallery floor is at 17:30
Mondays (except for May 5), May 7(Wed).
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo Exihibition Gallery 1F
University & College Student, Over 65yrs old: ¥800
High School & Junior High School Student: ¥600
Free for Elementary School & Under*Free entry to MOT Collection for ticket holders
From Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station on the Hanzomon Line: 9min. walk from the B2 exit.
From Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station on the Toei Oedo Line: 13min. walk from the A3 exit.