5 Art Exhibitions To Look Forward To In 2017

It's An 'Art Racing Year Ahead

By Marina Hanihara
February 9, 2017
Art & Culture

We've rounded up 2017's art exhibition highlights — save the dates!

It’s always great to start the year with something to look forward to — and as far as Tokyo’s art scene is concerned, it will be a busy one. From famed polka-dot queen Yayoi Kusama lifeworks, to the changing looks of contemporary fashion designers, to art installations introducing the mesmerizing art of Southeast Asia and India, 2017 is bound to get your ‘art racing. Here are just a few of the many art events happening in the capital that are not to be missed.

Yayoi Kusama: My Eternal Soul

© Photo by ©YAYOI KUSAMA

World-renowned avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition traces the history of her polka-dot themed works and is bound to be a truly captivating and immersive experience. If you’ve ever wondered why her art is so eccentric — or why she loves matching pumpkin-yellow robes with her bright red hair — this exhibition may be the key to your answers. Featuring old and new polka-dot artworks and 130 works from the painting series “My Eternal Soul” Kusama has been working on since 2009, this is a fascinating exhibition for any lovers of Japanese modern art.

When: Wed, Feb. 22 – Mon, May 22, 2017
Where: The National Art Center, 7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
How much: ¥1,600 (general), ¥1,200 (university), ¥800 (high school)

N.S. Harsha: Charming Journey

Join N.S. Harsha on a journey through India’s economic development, its life and the everyday relationships between people in his homeland. Known for being a master of miniature paintings depicting the modern reality of India, N.S. Harsha is a rising artist we should all keep an eye on. This art event will be one in a continuing series of solo exhibitions at the Mori Art Museum featuring mid-career artists from Asia and showcasing contemporary art from rapidly developing nations around the world.

When:  Sat, Feb. 4 – Sun, June 11, 2017
Where: Mori Art Museum, 53F Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo
How much: ¥1,800 (general), ¥1,200 (university and high school students), ¥600 (6 years of age to middle school), ¥1,500 (65 and above)

The Elegant Other: Cross-cultural Encounters in Fashion and Art

Western influence had a major impact on traditional Japanese clothing in the post Meiji-era, during which time a number of gorgeous dresses and kimono styles were produced in Japan — and now they’re here for us to see. In the exhibition, over 200 items including actual clothes from the time, photographs, and art will be on display. An inspiring exhibition for anyone interested in modern Japanese and Western history, fashion and art.

When: Sat, Apr. 15 – Sun, June 25, 2017
Where: YOKOHAMA MUSEUM OF ART, 3-4-1, MINATOMIRAI, NISHI-KU, YOKOHAMA, KANAGAWA
How much: ¥1,500 (general), ¥900 (university and high school), ¥600 (middle school), ¥1,400 (65 and above)

Flowers by Naked

Creative company Naked starts the year fresh and blooming just in time for the sakura season: the theme of the exhibition. As usual, this is a creative and collaborative exhibition combining surreal artwork and projection mapping technology to welcome the spring. Modern, stunning and innovative are the three keywords for this event.

When: Thu, Feb. 2 – Mon, Mar. 20, 2017
Where: Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall, Coredo Muromachi1 5F, 2-2-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo, Tokyo
How much: ¥1,400 (general), ¥900 (elementary and middle school)

Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now

© Photo by Carlos/Ishikawa London; Clearing Brussels/New York

“Sunshower” – or rain falling from clear skies – is a meteorological phenomenon, and a frequent occurrence in the tropical climes of Southeast Asia. Here, sunshowers serve as a poetic metaphor for the vicissitudes of a region that in the wake of the colonial era in the latter half of the 20th century experienced enormous political, social and economic upheaval. The exhibition reflects the multi-ethnic diversity of the region by tracing back the history of political turmoil, war, economic advancement, and urban development in Southeast Asia through art from the 1980s and onward.

When: Wed, July 5 – Mon, Oct. 23, 2017
Where: The National Art Center, Tokyo Special Exhibition Gallery 2F,7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo; Mori Art Museum, 53F Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo
How much: TBA

Born in Mexico, raised in Brazil, USA and Japan, Marina loves experiencing different cultures and learning new languages. During her free time she spends her day watching baseball games and cuddling with her beloved dog. An explorer at heart, she often goes on expeditions around Tokyo and Kanagawa to find new places to chill, eat, and shop.

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