“Let’s Talk Art!”: A Conversational Gallery Program Held in English at The National Museum of Modern Art , TokyoCulture
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (MOMAT) launched “Let’s Talk Art!” Japan’s first cross-cultural art-appreciation program. Enjoy a cross-cultural conversation in English while exploring modern Japanese art!
Unlike common guided tours where visitors listen passively, this program enables international participants to deepen their understanding of modern Japanese art through a delightful conversation among them and a facilitator. It is the first attempt by a Japanese museum aiming at cross-cultural exchange through art.
The MOMAT’s collection of the modern Japanese art comprises more than 13,000 works from the early 20th century to the present.By presenting 200 pieces selected, the “MOMAT Collection” exhibition is the only place in Japan giving you an insight into the entire history of modern Japanese art over more than a century. Thus, it is highly recommended to international visitors.
Another attraction at the MOMAT, the Guided Tour given in Japanese is a popular interactive program where participants can explore artworks while having a conversation with a guide.
Unlike listening to lectures, the tour lets you feel as if you are solving the mystery of artworks.
Building on this idea, the MOMAT has developed “Let’s Talk Art!” to enable visitors from other cultures to enjoy the “MOMAT Collection” exhibition. Exploring three works under a theme in one-hour, participants can discuss things found in the works, the Japanese culture, and the cultures of their own.The facilitator may talk about the history of places and buildings depicted in the works or provide tourist information.
The museum started the development of “Let’s Talk Art!” in 2017, then recruited and trained facilitators.In cooperation with nearby universities, trial sessions were run towards international students studying in Japan. The participants’ responses include: “You can understand not just artworks but also Japanese culture and history”; “I made discoveries in opinions of the participants from different countries”;and “I felt attraction that I could not notice even after reading the commentaries.”
The MOMAT hopes that “Let’s Talk Art!” will help international visitors find the new charms of Japan by offering an interactive forum where diverse people respect various cultures and values.
■ Schedule for “Let’s Talk Art!”
・Date and time: 6:30–7:30 PM on every Friday（meeting time 6:15 PM）
・Designed for international visitors aged 11 and over
・Pre-registration necessary,up to 6 participants on each session
・Check for details at: http://www.momat.go.jp/english/am/learn/lets-talk-art/
Fee（including museum admission）
Discount with ID below（Show your ID）
・College student 1,250 yen
・Senior（65＋）or Minor（11-17）1,000 yen
■ MOMAT Collection
・Contents: 200 works including Japanese- and Western-style paintings, sculptures and photographs are shown in the collection galleries on the fourth to second floors.
・Location: The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (3-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8322) 3 minutes’ walk from 1b exit, Takebashi station, Subway Tozai Line (T-08)
・Closed on Mondays (open on holiday Mondays and close on the following days)
Hours: 10:00 AM–5:00 PM (admission until 4:30 PM),
open until 8:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays (admission until 7:30 PM)