Jean-Michel Othoniel, My Way

Dates : January 7 (Sat.) – March 11 (Sun.), 2012

The first solo exhibition in Japan of the renowned French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel A retrospective featuring his large-scale jewelry-like glass sculptural works, with approximately 60 pieces on view, including examples from early in his career

The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Japan of the French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel. Reconstructed within the unique space of the Hara Museum, formerly a private residence, is the artist’s retrospective exhibition that was first launched at the Centre Pompidou in Paris where it proved to be one of the most popular shows in the history of the museum.

As one of France’s most prominent contemporary artists, Jean-Michel Othoniel is known for his large-scale glass sculptures, such as the sculptural piece Le Kiosque des Noctambules (2000) which adorns the entrance of the Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre metro station in the center of Paris. He has also held exhibitions at major museums around the world. In Japan, the artist installed a large outdoor sculpture entitled Kokoro (2009) at Hara Museum ARC, the Hara Museum’s annex in Shibukawa, Gunma prefecture. This permanent installation, a unique heart-shaped work made of red-colored glass globes, now provides a warm welcome to every visitor to the museum.

The present exhibition showcases works spanning 25 years of the artist’s career. Numbering some 60 pieces, they range from early works made with sulfur and beeswax to his most recent large-scale sculptures made with colorful Murano glass from Italy. The title of the exhibition is taken from the song made famous by Frank Sinatra, “My Way,” which is symbolic of a unique vision unswayed by popular trends.

We invite you to experience life and death, freedom and suffering, beauty and sensuality through the work that comprises Othoniel’s world.

Who Is Jean-Michel Othoniel?

A Paris-based artist, Othoniel has received widespread recognition for his sparkling, jewelry-like artworks made with glass globes crafted on the Venetian island of Murano. Among these is the much-beloved sculptural piece Le Kiosque des Noctambules that he created in 2000 for the entrance to the Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre metro station in Paris, a work that glitters vividly under the daylight sun and mysteriously under the street lights at night, conjuring up an entrance to another dimension.

Jean-Michel Othoniel and the Hara Museum

The Hara Museum’s association with Othoniel has deepened over a span of 20 years, starting in 1991 when the young artist resided in Japan for three weeks to create on-site a work of art for the exhibition Too French at Hara Museum ARC, our annex museum in Shibukawa, Gunma prefecture. In 2009, he installed a large-scale outdoor sculpture entitled Kokoro in the garden of ARC which now provides a warm welcome to every visitor to the museum. This work is distinguished by its shape, which looks abstract from one perspective and like a large heart from another, and also as an outdoor sculptural work made of glass—a fragile and ephemeral material.

Featured artist

Jean-Michel Othoniel

Organized by

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

Co-organized by

Centre Pompidou

Supported by


Sponsored by

Bonpoint Japon K.K., Saint-Just

Cooperation provided by

Yamato Logistics Co., Ltd.