Opposite the Sun Is Where the Blue Sky Lies: Works from the Hara Museum and the Hara Rokuro Collections Part II

Dates : Saturday, September 9, 2023 – Monday/national holiday, January 8, 2024

Following its consolidation with the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (in Tokyo) and subsequent renovation and relaunch in 2021, Hara Museum ARC has organized exhibitions that draw upon its rich natural environs for keywords that express aspects of art making and appreciation. Now in our third year, we are currently holding Opposite the Sun Is Where the Blue Sky Lies, an exhibition that showcases works from the Hara Museum Collection of contemporary art and the Hara Rokuro Collection of traditional East Asian art in two parts, each corresponding to the spring-summer and the autumn-winter seasons.

■Highlights of Part II
(1) Contemporary artworks, collected over the last 40 years, by such artists as Shigeko Kubota who pushed the envelope of sculptural expression and refused to be pigeonholed by the prevailing term “female artist,” and by “anti-art” artists who challenged the conventional artistic norms of their day.
(2) A new selection of Koetsu-bon, rare Noh songbooks printed with wooden movable type in the calligraphic style invented by Honami Koetsu (presented to the public for the first time).
(3) Yoshitomo Nara’s My Drawing Room which was relocated from the now-closed Hara Museum of Contemporary Art. As this installation will be on loan in its entirety during Part II, a special alternate installation by the artist will be on display from September 9, 2023 to January 8, 2024.

Yoshitomo Nara Interview
Full Ver.
Short Ver.

Meet the Artist: Yoshitomo Nara to Be Held on Saturday, December 2, 2023!
*Reservations closed.

■About the Exhibition
If you visit Hara Museum ARC on a clear, cloudless day, the first thing you will notice is the expansive sky spreading out before you. The contrast between the blue of the sky and the deep green of the mountains, the autumn color of the leaves and the stark black of Arata Isozaki’s architecture presents an awe-inspiring sight not to be found elsewhere. Averting your gaze from the white glare of the sun, you will notice that the blue of the sky becomes deeper the further away you look, becoming its deepest and most beautiful at the furthest points opposite the sun.

If the sky were the art world, then the sun would be where the mainstream and more orthodox expression dominate, while the areas opposite the sun are where artists break new ground by defying conventional wisdom and current values, adopt different points of view, question social and artistic trends in their own quiet ways and dive deep within themselves to find new ways of expression. The works by such artists from Japan and abroad, including Shusaku Arakawa, Shigeko Kubota, Gilbert & George and Joseph Beuys, are presented in Galleries A, B and C.

On display in the special exhibition space Kankai Pavilion will be works by Shiba Kokan, who devoted himself to Western painting and science during the Edo period when Japan was closed to the world, and Yokoyama Taikan, who rejected the traditional reliance in Japanese painting on line and pioneered an original style that was pejoratively dubbed “morotai” or “vague” at the time. Also, continuing its first public appearance in this space from Part I, is also Bird-shaped Celadon water pitcher vase with inlay work that was unique to the Goryeo Dynasty in Korea and not seen in Chinese celadon. This work warrants special attention for the use of black and white clay to form the feathers, the elegant lines that delineate each feather and the beauty of the thick celadon glaze. Part II also features a collaborative diptych by Goshun, a student of Yosa Buson, and Maruyama Okyo who put an emphasis on preparatory sketches, as well a new selection of Koetsu-bon, Noh songbooks printed with wooden movable type in the calligraphic style invented by Honami Koetsu.

So why not come to Hara Museum ARC where you can turn your gaze away from dazzling sunlight and enjoy the beautiful blue sky and gorgeous details of the museum buildings spreading out before you?

■Featured Artists and Works (slated)
Part II
Contemporary Art: Karel Appel, Arakawa, Arman, Armando, Andy Warhol, Cesar, Christo, Willem de Kooning, Shigeko Kubota, Tetsumi Kudo, Robert Mapplethorpe, Yasumasa Morimura, Ernesto Neto, Mika Ninagawa, Claes Oldenburg, Ushio Shinohara and others
Traditional Art: Landscape of Mt. Fuji, Shiba Kokan, Seaside landscape with sunrise, Yokoyama Taikan, Field with the moon, the subject called “Musashino” in Japanese, Bird shaped celadon water pitcher vase, Koetsu-bon Noh song book and others

The List of Works -Part II- at Galleries A, B and C
The List of Works -Part II- at the Kankai Pavilion

Manpukuya Mogumogu on Claes Oldenburg 01
Manpukuya Mogumogu on Claes Oldenburg 02
Manpukuya Mogumogu on Claes Oldenburg 03
Manpukuya Mogumogu on Claes Oldenburg 04
Manpukuya Mogumogu on Claes Oldenburg 05

Mika Ninagawa, “PLANT A TREE”, 2011 C print 48.5 x 72.8 cm ©mika ninagawa

Arakawa, “Look at It No.3,” 1968 acrylic, felt pen on cotton canvas 124.5 x 183 cm © 2023 Estate of Madeline Gins. Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Madeline Gins.

Shigeko Kubota, “Duchampiana: Bicycle Wheel One, Two, Three,” 1990 3 in. LCD monitors, bicycle wheels, motors, wooden stools, video heads, video discs, video disc players 148 x 64 x 39.5 cm each © 2023 Estate of Shigeko Kubota/ Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS)

Christo, “The Umbrellas, Joint Project for Japan and USA,” 1986 pencil, charcoal, cloth, crayon, pastel on paper 67.3 x 78.2 x 4.3cm © ADAGP, Paris & JASPAR, Tokyo, 2023 G3248

“Landscape of Mt. Fuji,” Shiba Kokan, Edo period color on silk 142.2 x 81.1cm

“Seaside landscape with sunrise,” Yokoyama Taikan, Meiji period color on silk 127.2 x 40.8cm

“Field with the moon, the subject called “Musashino” in Japanese,” Edo period ink and color on gold-leaf paper 172.2 x 360.0cm

Bird-shaped Celadon water pitcher vase, Goryeo dynasty

Parts I and II
Anish Kapoor, Void / Yayoi Kusama, Mirror Room (Pumpkin) / Tatsuo Miyajima, Time Link / Yasumasa Morimura, Rondo (Twins) / Tabaimo, Midnight Sea and others

■Outdoor Installations
Visitors can now enjoy the following installations whose relocation has been completed from the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo) which closed two years ago. Yoshikuni Iida, Breath of Wind (1980) / Isamu Noguchi, Pylon (1959-81) / Nobuo Sekine, Phase in the Sky (1980) / Minami Tada, Chiaroscuro No. 2 (1980)

Yoshitomo Nara, “My Drawing Room”, 2004/2021 312 × 200.5 × 448 cm ?Yoshitomo Nara photo by Shinya Kigure
*This work will be on loan during Part II. A special exhibit by the artist will be displayed instead.

Yasuhiro Suzuki, “Bench of the Japanese Archipelago”, 2014/2021 mixed media ?Yasuhiro Suzuki photo by Shinya Kigure

Yasumasa Morimura, “Rondo (Twins)”, 1994/2021 mixed media ©Yasumasa Morimura photo by Shinya Kigure

* One change of e xhibits will take place at the Kankai Pavilion during Part I and Part II of the exhibition.
* The exhibition period is subject to change due to the situation with the novel coronavirus and other factors. Please check the museum website for the latest information.


9:30 am – 4:30 pm (last entry at 4:00 pm)


Thursdays (except on holidays, December 28 and January 4), between exhibitions and January 1

On-line ticket same-day, on-site tickets
General ¥1,500 ¥1,800
Seniors (70 and above) ¥1,200 ¥1,500
High school and university students ¥700 ¥1,000
Elementary and junior school students ¥500 ¥800
General On-line ticket¥1,500same-day, on-site tickets ¥1,800
Seniors (70 and above) On-line ticket¥1,200same-day, on-site tickets ¥1,500
High school and university students On-line ticket¥700same-day, on-site tickets ¥1,000
Elementary and junior school students On-line ticket¥500same-day, on-site tickets ¥800

The admission fee is required even when accessing the Cafe d’Art and Museum Shop only.

  • If you are purchasing a student or senior (age 70 and over) ticket, please show a valid student ID card or proof of age, respectively when you enter the museum at the ticket booth on the day of your visit.
  • Upon presentation of a disability certificate at the ticket booth, a disabled person and up to one accompanying person may each purchase a same-day general admission ticket for half the normal price.

The following visitors may enter the museum free of charge.

  • Hara Museum ARC members.
  • Preschool children.
  • Gunma prefectural elementary and junior high school students on Saturdays during the school term.
  • Students at the university or lower level on October 28, Gunma Prefectural Citizens’ Day.

  • About Advance Online Tickets

    Advance online tickets purchased on this site are for a specific date. Please make your purchase by 9:00 a.m. on the day of your visit. There is no time restriction. You may enter the museum at any time between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on the day of your visit.

    • No cancellations (refunds) will be made after 9:00 a.m. on the day of your visit.
    • Ticket purchases after 9:00 a.m. on the day of your visit should be made at the museum ticket booth.
    • Other discounts will not be accepted when purchasing advance online tickets.
    • Visitors coming by car will be asked to present the QR code on their tickets before getting out of the car.
      Please confirm that the number of tickets matches the number of people in the car. If your party is coming in more than one car, please purchase tickets to match the number of persons in each car. Up to 10 tickets may be purchased at a time.

    • About Advance Online Tickets with Drink Coupon
      Advance online tickets (date-specific) that include a drink coupon are now on available on the online ticket sales page.

      =Ticket Prices=
      General 1,900 yen
      Seniors (70 and above) 1,600 yen
      High school and university students 1,100 yen
      Elementary and junior high school students 900 yen

      *For the price of admission, you will receive a ticket for viewing the current exhibition Opposite the Sun Is Where the Blue Sky Lies: Works from the Hara Museum and the Hara Rokuro Collections Part II and a drink coupon that is redeemable at the Cafe d’Art.
      *You will receive the drink coupon on the day of your visit for use at the museum’s Café d’Art.
      * Cafe opening hours: 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Last order 4:15 pm).
      * The coupon allows you to choose one drink from the cafe’s drink menu.