Exhibition Policies

An Outline of the Exhibitions

Putting on exhibitions is one of the museum’s main functions, while we also conduct various other activities. The Yokohama Museum of Art mainly holds four types of exhibitions.
The first type is called special exhibitions, where works and reference materials are loaned to the museum by art museums and collectors from Japan and aboard or coproducing artists new works and exhibited under a specific theme. The second type shows parts of the museum collection, where art works and reference materials collected by the museum are exhibited. The third type is the New Artist Picks (NAP) exhibitions, where young up-and-coming artists show their ambitious works. The exhibitions are held at various spaces in the museum, such as Art Gallery 1 and Cafe. The last one is the Yokohama Triennale. The museum has held Yokohama Triennale as the its themed exhibition since 2011.


The museum holds a variety of themed exhibitions three or four times a year, based on the basic policy shown below. More than 120 themed exhibitions have been held since the museum’s opening in 1989.

  1. Exhibitions with a global perspective appropriate to Yokohama’s character as an international port city
  2. Exhibitions that provide citizens with opportunities to become more familiar with and gain a deeper understanding of contemporary art
  3. Exhibitions related to photography on various themes with a global perspective, as befits Yokohama’s historical role in the development of Japanese photography
  4. Exhibitions of Japanese modern art and art related to Yokohama: works by artists who were under the patronage of HARA Sankei; attempts to survey the development of Western style painting and Nihonga in the period since the opening of the Port of Yokohama; exhibitions of artists who were born or who have lived in Yokohama; exhibitions showing various aspects of Yokohama’s artistic history
  5. Exhibitions of art forms closely related to our everyday life, such as architecture, decorative arts and design

Exhibition from the Museum Collection

A selection of items from the museum collection, which are changed two or three times a year, are on display at the museum in four galleries. Throughout the year, the museum displays 200 to 300 carefully selected items from its collection which consists of more than 12,000 items. A selection of items is exhibited under a specific theme in each exhibition period, so that various features of the museum collection can be introduced to visitors. During some exhibition periods the exhibited works are arranged by type based on the museum’s collection policy in order to highlight the characteristics of each type of work, and in other exhibition periods works of all types are exhibited under a single theme. Please visit the museum to find your favorite piece.

New Artist Picks (NAP)

NAP (New Artist Picks) is the name for a series of small exhibitions which introduce works by rising artists from Japan and abroad selected by the museum’s curators. A program to support young artists was conducted from 2006 and it was replaced by NAP in 2013. The museum holds about one NAP exhibition a year and visitors can enjoy them admission free.
Every year, NAP introduces young up-and-coming artists engaging in unique activities who are highly recommended by the NAP curators. We hope that the visitors will enjoy the edgy tastes of these promising artists and exhibitions that give a glimpse of what the future of art might look like.

The Yokohama Triennale

The Yokohama Triennale is an international exhibition of contemporary art held in Yokohama once every three years. The exhibition features both internationally renowned and up-and-coming artists, and presents the latest trends and expressions in contemporary art.
Since its inauguration in 2001, the Yokohama Triennale has addressed the relationships between Japan and the world, and the individual and society, and reexamined the social role of art from a variety of perspectives, in response to a world in constant flux.
The first three editions (2001, 2005 and 2008) were primarily organized and overseen by the Japan Foundation to enhance cultural exchange between Japan and other countries and cultures through contemporary art. From the fourth edition (2011), the City of Yokohama became the primary organizer of the event and the Yokohama Museum of Art became one of its main venues. The Yokohama Triennale is a national project supported by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, and also a project that represents the ‘Culture, Art and Creative City Yokohama.’