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Shibuya City Shoto Museum, Tokyo
Written by KALONSNET Editor   
Published: March 09 2011

Copyright© Shibuya City Shoto Museum, Tokyo

The Shibuya Municipal Shoto Museum of Art was opened in October 1981 at Shoto, Shibuya, Tokyo. It holds unique feature exhibitions for all sorts of genre and periods, including paintings, sculptures, art works, photographs and designs about five times a year. Also it holds community based exhibitions. For example, small exhibitions of artists who reside in Shibuya, collection exhibitions, exhibitions of works obtained by public appeals, and exhibitions of works of elementary and junior high schoolers. It also holds events such as gallery talk, lecture meetings or mini-concerts with an exhibition. This art museum also conducts educational programs including art related movie and video viewing events, practical guidance from invited senior artists on Western or Japanese style painting or block printing, counseling on art in general, and lessons on oil painting, water color painting, pastel drawing and block printing.

The building was designed by the Seiichi Shirai Laboratory. The exterior wall is covered by reddish Korean granite which gives warmth despite its robust appearance. Unlike the heavy entrance, there is a sunlit fountain in a ceiling-less space at the center of the building. It projects some softness into the space. The first exhibition room is in the basement (primary exhibition room), the second exhibition room is on the second floor (Salon Musee) and the special exhibition room is in the back of the second exhibition room. These exhibition rooms which are arranged in half round shapes around the open ceiling fountain space, make it very different and unique compared to the usual white-cube-format exhibition rooms employed at many art galleries. There are couches and tables in the second exhibition room, so that people can enjoy the works of art in a very relaxed way. It is possible to view the works of arts while eating snacks at a cafe called “Salon Musee” in this room but unfortunately it was closed in March 2010.

The feeling you will have after viewing an exhibition and exiting the museum will be a quietness and a relaxation that will come after experiencing a moment outside of reality.

As Seiichi Shirai, the designer of this museum mentions, “An art museum is primarily a place to exhibit works or art, but I wanted to create a quiet space for people in this area to get together, view works of art, talk about them and study them” (Shirai Study III). This is an art museum in which viewers and works can communicate casually.
(Translated by Yoshikazu Noda)

Address: 2-14-14, Shoto, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Phone: +81-(0)586-63-2892
Open: 10:00 - 18:00 (Friday - 19:00), admission till 30 mins. before closing
Close: Monday, next day of national holidays
Website: http://shoto-museum.jp

Last Updated on March 11 2011

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