A Personal View of Japanese Contemporary Art: Takahashi Ryutaro Collection

Presently comprising over 3,000 items, the Takahashi Ryutaro Collection is reputed as one of the most important collections of Japanese contemporary art in terms of both quality and quantity. A showcase of outstanding works by artists with a highly critical mindset, this exhibition explores the state of contemporary Japan from the specific viewpoint of a 1946-born art collector.

The exhibition is modeled around the personal viewpoint of TAKAHASHI Ryutaro as one face representing postwar Japan. Born in 1946, and growing up as a spearhead of the baby boomer generation, he joined the Zenkyoto student movement, and was directly exposed to the dense mixture of culture and politics that was filling the air in Tokyo in the 1960s. From there, he went on to put effort into encouraging local medical care such as day care as a psychiatrist. From the mid-90s, when his business was stably on track, he started collecting Japanese contemporary art, and has to this day acquired a total of more than 3,000 artworks. TAKAHASHI can thus be seen as someone who has been observing the trends and currents in Japanese contemporary art from the inside, while at the same time embodying essential aspects from the position of the audience as opposed to that of the artists. In addition to works that seem to reflect the state of Japan in the 1990s and 2000s, which in a way represent the Takahashi Ryutaro Collection at large, this exhibition also focuses on a new direction that the collection took after the Great East Japan Earthquake, reflecting the changing times and values.

The time of the Takahashi Ryutaro Collection’s formation coincides with the opening of the MOT in 1995. Both collections were largely built in the city of Tokyo during the so-called “lost 30 years” after the burst of the economic bubble in Japan, and the relationship between them can be understood as mutually complementary. The artworks that were created to combat the state of stagnation in Japanese society, TAKAHASHI refers to as the “cries and living evidence of young artists.” This exhibition is an occasion that introduces one personal perspective onto the art historical currents that the MOT has been presenting, and at the same time, it is a precious opportunity that offers a comprehensive overview of essential and incisively critical works of Japanese contemporary art.

Artists (TBD)

AIDA Makoto, KATO Izumi, KUSAMA Yayoi, SUZUKI Hiraku, NARA Yoshitomo, MURAKAMI Takashi, and more

AIDA Makoto, A Picture of an Air-Raid on New York City (War Picture Returns), 1996, 174×382cm
CG of Zero fighters created by MATSUHASHI Mutsuo photo: MIYAJIMA Kei ©︎ AIDA Makoto Courtesy of Mizuma Art Gallery

  • MURAKAMI Takashi, ZuZaZaZaZaZa, 1994, 150×170×7.5cm
    © 1994 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

  • NARA Yoshitomo, Untitled, 1999, 240×276cm
    © NARA Yoshitomo, courtesy of Yoshitomo Nara Foundation

KUSAMA Yayoi, Pumpkin, 1990, 130×162cm


Exhibition Period

Saturday, 3 August – Sunday, 10 November 2024

Opening Hours

10 AM - 6 PM (Tickets available until 30 minutes before closing.)
*Open until 9 PM on Fridays in August


Mondays (except 12 Aug., 16 Sep., 23 Sep., 14 Oct.)
13 Aug., 17 Sep., 24 Sep., 15 Oct., 5 Nov.


Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Exhibition Gallery 1F/B2F


To be announced

Organized by

Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo operated by Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture

With the special cooperation of

Takahashi Ryutaro Collection

Supported by

Kokoronokai Medical Corporation

Concurrent Exhibition

See Exhibitions

Past Exhibitions