The New National Art Center, Tokyo / 1
The newest and largest art museum in Japan opened its doors to the public on January 21, 2007. Designed by Kisho Kurokawa, it has no permanent collection.
"We will be able to bring any collections from Japan or abroad that we want at any time--that unpredictable quality, coupled with our mission to attract young, new artists of quality, is the museum's main originality," said Kurokawa. "This would be impossible with the Louvre museum, but is possible with the National Art Center. I think this is the 21st century way of thinking," he added.
While saving on a permanent collection, Kurokawa also hopes that the National Art Center in Tokyo can eventually make do without physically bringing fragile artwork into Japan. The 72-year-old architect's idea is that the museum can use cutting-edge technology to display photographs of artwork on walls equipped with flat-screen panels. "If we try looking at the real Mona Lisa, it's really hard to see clearly. Now Japan excels in film technology, so with digital technology and the Internet, people will be able to see artwork more clearly than if they were in the actual museum," he said.
With 14,000 square meters of exhibition space, the state-backed center, built at a cost of $290 million, is part of a triangle in Roppongi area, along with the Mori Art Museum and the renovated Suntory Museum.
The National Art Center, Tokyo, 7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5777-8600. Open 10 am-6 pm (until 8pm on Fridays), closed Tuesday. www.nact.jp/english/indes.html
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This photo belongs to The Asiain Gallery.