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The Exhibition of the Yokohama Museum of Art:Collection 2015 Part 1


MORIMURA Yasumasa "An Inner Dialogue with Frida Kahlo (Red Hair Ornament)" 2001 Long-term loan 


Thinking with the Body:
Ways of Relating to the Body in Contemporary Art

The first Collection Exhibition in the year 2015 will present works of art related to the human body.

The human body has been perceived differently in different times and cultures. In an earlier era, human beings walked or used animals to move from one place to another, but technological advances have created many new modes of transportation that enable us to travel long distances at high speeds. The fantastic progress of telecommunications has made it possible to obtain information from faraway places without moving a step. The Internet is awash with huge quantities of information that were previously inaccessible. The virtual world produced by computer technology is expanding, and the way we perceive and think about our bodies is beginning to change. It is becoming more difficult today to get a substantial sense of the physical reality of our bodies. For this very reason, contemporary artists can make use of their bodies as they actually exist to read the spaces and worlds spreading out around them and communicate what they experience to others.

In this exhibition, we consider artistic expressions linked to the body in six sections. Two of the most interesting works by Japanese artists are the works from "An Inner Dialogue with Frida Kahlo" series, in which MORIMURA Yasumasa, known for taking on the guise of figures in famous paintings, engages with the work of the Mexican female artist Frida KAHLO, and "Untitled – mother and baby –" by HIRANO Kaoru, who unravels the fibers of clothing and restructures them as installations. HIRANO’s installation was produced on site at the Yokohama Museum of Art in 2008. Other Japanese artists represented in the exhibition include NARA Yoshitomo, ODANI Motohiko, IWASAKI Takahiro, KAWASHIMA Hideaki, and KANEUJI Teppei, and it also features art related to the body by such twentieth century masters as Pablo PICASSO, Salvador DALÍ, and Francis BACON. The paintings of ONO Yūzō, MISE Natsunosuke, NAKAMURA Kengo, and FUJII Kenji, who treat contemporary themes with techniques and ways of handling space taken from traditional Japanese painting, give viewers an opportunity to think about the relationship between the space depicted in the paintings and their own bodies. The photography gallery showcases expressions of the body by such twentieth century photographers as André KERTÉSZ, Edward WESTON, Jacques-André BOIFFARD, Hans BELLMER and Mario GIACOMELLI.


  1.Transformed Bodies
  2.Confronting Faces: Portraits
  3.Captured Bodies
  4.Replaced Bodies
  5.Existence of Bodies
  6.Gazing at Bodies: The Body in Photographs in the 20th Century
  7.Foyer, Grand Gallery:Isamu NOGUCHI and Sculptures in the 20th Century

■The Exhibition of the Yokohama Museum of Art : Collection 2015 Part 1
List of works [298KB]    

1.Transformed Bodies

The human body has been one of the major subjects for artists in all times and places. Here we present paintings by Western artists that explore the meaning of human existence through the body including Salvador DALÍ’s "Fantastic Landscape: Dawn, Heroic Noon, Evening", Francis BACON’s "Seated Figure" and others.

2.Confronting Faces: Portraits

Everyone has memories of drawing faces, especially their own faces or those of family members. Portraits are quite familiar to all of use and have been a common subject of painting and sculpture since ancient times. Since the role of traditional portrait painting was taken over by photography in the late 19th century, painted portraits have come to express the inner life of artists or make social statements. Here we present the work of artists from Japan and overseas from the postwar period to the present.

3.Captured Bodies

The word body has numerous associations. Here we present four artists, Lucas SAMARAS, ODANI Motohiko, TAKAMINE Tadasu, and ISHIHARA Tomoaki, who take up the challenge of the rich and enigmatic theme of the body with different approaches. Rather than reproducing the ordinary appearance of the body, they put their responses to the body into a variety of different forms - sculpture, photography, and video installation.

4.Replaced Bodies

This section presents the series of works by MORIMURA Yasumasa, who is known for photographic works in which he appears in the guise of figures in famous paintings. This section also introduce the work by HIRANO Kaoru, which was created while she participated in the “Artist in Museum Yokohama” program at the Yokohama Museum of Art in 2008, as well as the large scale two dimensional CG works by Chi Peng, who also has an opportunity to join a residency program in Yokohama city.

5.Existence of Bodies

Ordinarily we do not take much notice of the existence of our own bodies. But our bodies are always present, here and now. Turning our attention to them can help us relate to the world. Here we focus on works of art that make us think about the relationship between art and the bodies of the people who look at it.

6.Gazing at Bodies: The Body in Photographs in the 20th Century

Once photography was invented in 1839, people set out to capture a tremendous variety of subjects using this technology that reproduces the real world on paper. Our own bodies are objects that cannot be seen in their entirety with our own eyes, but they can be observed objectively through photography. This is one reason that the body has been one of the most fascinating subjects for photography since its invention to the present. Diverse photographic explorations of the body are seen here in the work of 20th century photographers who are noted for their original approaches.

7.  Foyer,Grand Gallery: Isamu NOGUCHI and Sculptures in the 20th Century


MORIMURA Yasumasa,
"An Inner Dialogue with Frida Kahlo (Red Hair Ornament)" 2001 [Long-term loan]


"roses" 2006 [Long-term loan]


ODANI Motohiko,
"SP2'New Born'(Python X) 2007 [Long-term loan]
Photo by: KIOKU Keizo / Photo courtesy: YAMAMOTO GENDAI


Chi Peng,
"Five Elements Mountain" 2007(2010 print)


Jacques-André BOIFFARD,
"Sans Titre" 1930(new print)


Dates             March 28 (Sat.)-May 31 (Sun.), 2015
Open Hours10:00-18:00 (admission until 17:30)              
OrganizerYokohama Museum of Art


Adults        500 (400)
University students 
High school students 
300 (240)                                                               
Junior high school students100 (80)
Children under 12Free

*( )= Group of over 20 people (pre-booking required) 
*Free Admission on April 4th, 2015
*Admission for high school and younger student is free every Saturday.
(Student ID or student handbook required) 
*Visitors with disability and one person accompanying them are admitted free of charge.
(Please present certificate at the admission.)
*Collection gallery is available with ticket of Special Exhibition.

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