aomori museum of art is very far away from my place. it’s nearly 10,000 kilometers away!
but that didn’t really matter since i was going to japan with a japan rail pass anyway and i really, really like yoshitomo nara.
the museum is a bit outside of the city but is easily reachable by bus. when we were there in may, they had a big temporary sea fauna show that had lured lots of families with kids. we passed on the sea show and went to see the art part of the museum.
the permanent collection consists of aomori-related art. the museum had had a temporary yoshitomo nara show that had ended in january 2013. even if i was super sad to miss that, i could still see their growing collection of his art. because the artist was born in hirosaki, in the aomori prefecture, the museum has long ago decided to stock up on his stuff. great idea!
the first thing i saw was a trio of big paintings (15m x 9m) by marc chagall. they had been conceived as ballet backdrops. they are currently shown in a 19m high room that is occasionally used as a concert hall.
after some rather forgettable local art, there came the yoshitomo nara pieces i was there to see. inside the museum, there were quite a few of his paintings and sculptures. there is something about them that makes me want them all. is it because they look like grown up toys? or is it perhaps that he’s conveying a range of feelings that are not usually seen in children stuff? either way, my obsession for his work is only increasing.
the greatest two pieces were outside. they were both commissioned and they are available to the public free of charge. one of them is called hakkakudo and is a little snail of a structure leading to the innermost chamber. there, you will find yourself in the middle of an octagon, checking out 6 portraits.
and last, but certainly not least, the main reason i found it worth while to travel so far. it’s the super cute and heart breaking aomori ken! the 8.5m high sculpture depicts a dog with his paws and hind half buried and his eyes closed. i’ll never forget his sad presence.
while i was in the museum, i picked up a brochure about that time when local kids patched together a hat for the sculpture dog. i have no idea what the brochure is saying: my japanese is still null. so i got a pic off the net to show you how it looked like.
note: as usual in most japanese museum, taking pictures of the exhibits was forbidden. so i had to steal the pictures. i’m sorry if my pictures are not sufficient or properly framed. i hope the pictures taken of the outside pieces compensate.
do you like yoshitomo nara? would you like to see aomori ken in person?
i wonder if i will ever go back to aomori…
photo credits: little aesthete, the picture with aomori ken with a hat is not mine