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Exhibition: Does the Future Sleep Here?

Text: Kosuke Ide


The National Museum Of Western Art, an art museum in Tokyo that specializes in Western art from the late 20th century, is currently featuring an exhibition of over twenty contemporary artists who work or have worked in Japan. The exhibition seeks to unpack the history of art and art museums through pieces that question not only their definitions but also their very existences.

The photographer Yurie Nagashima, one of the featured artists, is bringing her project School of Care—an informative exhibition from last year about care—to the art museum and I will be “participating” in this part. Nagashima sent everyone who was involved in School of Care a postcard featuring a piece of Western art and recipients can visit the exhibition to display their postcard upon the wall.

The postcard I was sent features Van Gogh’s famous piece Bedroom in Arles. Nagashima has added her own little personal touch through some collage work—in the corner of the bedroom, is a Subsequence tote bag, snipped out from a photograph that Nagashima herself took.

Art has often been associated with grandeur, with its long history, its usage in giving authority to political powers, its utilization in magnificent architectural masterpieces, but Nagashima’s works are a perfect contrast to this; being delicate, personal, and at times even funny. I felt a warmth in my heart as I looked at her work. If you find yourself at this exhibition, take a moment to have a peek at her postcards.

Does the Future Sleep Here? ——Revisiting the museum’s response to contemporary art after 65 years

Date: March 12, 2024 – May 12

Venue: The National Museum Of Western Art (7-7 Ueno-koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo)

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