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Contemporary Museum of Art in Tokyo | © Helwa 4126/Flickr
Contemporary Museum of Art in Tokyo | © Helwa 4126/Flickr
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History Of The Museum Of Contemporary Art, Tokyo In 1 Minute

Picture of Alicia Joy
Tokyo Writer
Updated: 15 August 2016
While many have a hard time letting go of the past, others are ready to fully embrace the present. Enter the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, a place built specifically to preserve and appreciate the modern artists who will be tomorrow’s artistic legends. Explore the history of Tokyo’s largest collection and museum of modern art.

After the Second World War, many Japanese, including artists, found themselves going through a cultural identity crisis. They struggled with the integration of Western methods and influence, and wondered how the two seemingly opposing forces of East and West could come together in art. Were Western methods sufficient to express the Japanese aesthetic ideals, or the Japanese spirit? The answer was no, and these days Japan’s national identity is stronger than ever. Contemporary Japanese life – and its unique cultural identity – is alive in modern art.

Contemporary Museum of Art in Tokyo | © Helwa 4126/Flickr / Museum sign | © Kentaro Ohno/Flickr / The MOT building | © Wiiii/WikiCommons
Contemporary Museum of Art in Tokyo | © Helwa 4126/Flickr / Museum sign | © Kentaro Ohno/Flickr / The MOT building | © Wiiii/WikiCommons

Contemporary art exists to allow us to reflect on our modern societies and the issues we face. The Museum of Contemporary Art opened in Tokyo in 1995 to protect and share art created by both Japanese and international artists in the postwar and modern period. It is the largest museum of modern art in Japan. The museum is interested in not only displaying pieces of traditional art, like painting and photography, but all manner of design, from fashion and architecture to sculpture and paper craft. The museum keeps a rotating collection of 5,000 artistic pieces for exhibition, and fills three floors with temporary displays from local or overseas contemporary artists. In this way, it manages to keep its collection fresh and its patrons coming back for more.

In addition to the artistic collections, the Museum of Contemporary Art houses a vast library of over 100,000 books on subjects relating to art, and the Atrium, home to the Atrium Project. The Atrium Project is an annually rotating artistic display built specifically for the venue, and never fails to disappoint in scale or skill.

📅 Tuesday to Sunday 10AM – 6PM (CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS)