The Tokyo Art Museum designed by Tadao Ando
The Tokyo Art Museum is located at the south end of the “Ando Street,” a 432 meter-strip in Sengawa area, Western suburb of Tokyo. The street got its name as it went through a peculiar and challenging re-development history, which eventually persuaded renowned architect Tadao Ando to design a series of buildings on narrow, triangular lots along the street. (read the story here)
As a corner stone of the Ando Street, the museum has Ando’s signature design details despite its smallness. Or rather, Ando overcame the geographical limitation and created a compact and intimate space in which visitors can stay very close to art.
The current exhibition (through Dec 20, 2020) features Japanese artist Koichi Ebizuka, who chose “water” and “wind” as its theme. Ebizuka says that both water and wind are “moments” as well as “elements,” and can also be “media.” You can feel, perceive or read them. If you are no one, can you finally find “you” through water or wind, when you interact with them?
Ebizuka’s almost Zen-like philosophy toward nature reminds Ando’s design principles, as he’s always been about the environment that embraced architecture. Ando’s “environment” is not just the elements you can see such as grounds, trees or skies, but also the atmosphere or ambience which are unique to each location and its geographical characteristics. You can only feel them, but Ando always attempts to capture and highlight those subtle elements in his bare minimal concrete design. More often than not, smaller buildings have done excellent job intensifying the effects. He distinguished himself by designing a “tiny house” in 1976 (The “Row House of Sumiyoshi” built on a 57m2 parcel) , and you can see the same spirit in the Tokyo Art Museum.
If you want to visit the Ando Street and the Tokyo Art Museum, hop on Keio Line and get off at Sengawa Station. It’s about 25 minutes from Shinjuku.
The Tokyo Art Museum
1-25-1 Sengawacho, Chofu, Tokyo 182-0002
Open: Thursday to Sunday (Closed on Mon, Tue, Wed)
Hours: 11am – 18:30pm
Admission: 500 yen (student discounts available)
The Museum will be closed from Dec 21, 2020 to Jan 8, 2021
Check with the museum for COVID protocols