Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s-1990s
In a nutshell
The theme for this exhibition covers quite a bit of ground: societal change in eleven Asian countries as expressed through art. As stated in the exhibition text, this is not art for art’s sake but rather art for the masses, art as critique, art as documentation of change. There are several videos of varying lengths, photographs, sculptures, prints, drawings, paintings and documentation of a variety of performance art.
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo is a four-story building, with the main special exhibition space on the first floor. Selections from the museum’s permanent collection and other smaller special exhibitions are on the 2nd-4th floors. The special exhibition ticket price includes the permanent collection and the Crafts Gallery down the street.
English? (labels/audio guides/handouts)
All of the available information is in English. There is an app to download for free in lieu of an audio guide. The guide on the app has the same information as provided on some of the wall text. There is an audio option but the voice sounds very robotic. The handout is in English and includes information about selected artists/artworks.
Visitors are allowed to photograph a few pieces, which are clearly marked.
There is a lot going on in this exhibition, which has an ambitious overarching theme. The artists’ questioning and critiques provide a snapshot in time from a variety of Asian nations.
An opportunity for those interested in modern Asian history to view events through the lens of avant-garde art.
How far out?
A short five minute walk from the Takebashi Subway Station, Exit 1b. (At this time Google Maps incorrectly advises Exit 1a.)
How much time?
Over an hour - quite a bit more time if you watch all the videos and read all the information provided.
How much money?
¥1,200 for general admission (includes admission to the permanent collection and the Crafts Gallery)
December 24, 2018
Rating: make a special trip, see it if you’re in the area or have some free time, see it only if you like this specific type of art
See if you enjoy more contemporary Asian art and/or would like to learn more about artistic expression during societal change.