mori art museum is a private contemporary art museum. it’s located in roppongi hills, on the 53rd and 54th floors of the famous mori tower. yes, in tokyo.
roppongi hills is a modern complex. it has its own subway station, a few skyscrapers, many stores and restaurants and even a small pond.
before getting on the elevator that will take you all the way up to the museum, do not forget to find the spider. that is maman, a 10 m high sculpture by the late louise bourgeois.
if you pay the 1,500 yen (10.9 euro=14.7 usd) museum entrance fee, i’d recommend that you pay the extra 500 to get on the sky deck. the views are breath taking and often so is the wind! you can see tokyo from 270 m above the sea level.
the museum doesn’t have its own permanent collection. rather, it houses temporary exhibitions. the last time i was there, i visited the all you need is love: from chagall to kusama and hatsune miku. the show displayed 200 works on the various kinds of love. it also marked the museum’s 10th anniversary. it is a follow up of the first exhibition in 2003 called happiness: a survival guide for art and life.
as usual in japanese museums, taking pictures was forbidden. i don’t like that: i said it before and i say it again! and it’s not like they didn’t put them online themselves.
the exhibition was a best-of kind of show, meant to draw crowds and please as many tastes as possible.
the show had 5 sections: what is love?, a couple in love, love in losing, family and love and beyond love.
the opening piece was jeff koons’ sacred heart. in the same room, there were robert indiana’s love as well as the the artistic reaction to it, the homonymous, damaged piece by korean artist gimhongsok.
i remember untitled (pink varnish real butterflies) by damien hirst and a neon piece by tracey emin.
the section about romantic love included above the town by marc chagall (a piece about the death of his wife) and auguste rodin’s the kiss.
i was pleasantly surprised to see a romanian piece as well, constantin brancusi’s kiss.
a small room was dedicated to the funny and endearing video of adel abidin called 52 guaranteed affection.
one of the exhibits consists of an installation that makes the visitor interact with a robotic arm. love+1+1 used voice-recognition and artificial intelligence. the industrial device moves and then sings with an anime voice poems created with the words that you spoke out. the interaction moved me and i didn’t expect it. even if i had had a preview in osaka when i petted a robotic dog and it reacted to me just like a normal dog would. i will be watching robots from now on. they have huge potential!
section 4 was about family love. it included frida kahlo’s my grandparents, parents and I (family tree), zhang xiao gang’s bloodline: the big family and david hockney’s my parents.
i liked the asada-ke’s series featuring the asada family enacting various scenarios.
i cried watching the beethoven mama by tatsumi morimoto. his mother is often featured in his work. i remember an older piece of his where she was wearing some unbelievable platform shoes.
yayoi kusama had a commissioned piece. it was called love is calling and it was the only place we were allowed to take pictures. it was a fun room, colourful and playful. everybody was smiling and taking selfies. the mixed media installation was part of the 5th section: love beyond.
the last room was dedicated to hatsune miku, the virtual idol. i have already written about her in a separate post.
a visit to the mori art museum is always interesting and fun. would you include mori art museum and roppongi hills if you were visiting tokyo?
photo and video credits: copyrights holders, little aesthete