Time Flows: Reflections by 5 Artists

Dates : September 19 (Saturday), 2020 - January 11 (Monday/national holiday), 2021

A reservation is required to visit the museum.
For details about the reservation-based admission system, please click here .

= Note to Visitors =
All photography is prohibited within the museum and the courtyard garden.
In the spirit of the ideas explored in the current exhibition, Time Flows: Reflections by 5 Artists, it is our hope that visitors remember their time at the museum not in the form of recorded images, but in the form of actual memories. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

2020 has been a year of much trepidation in face of uncontrollable world events. Amidst such turbulence, this exhibition asks the question: Is it possible for us to perceive, much less remember the everyday phenomena and emotions that arise only to disappear on the outer edge of our consciousness? The act of noticing and recording is a common thread in the works of the five artists featured in this exhibition. These include the photography of Tomoki Imai, Tamotsu Kido and Tokihiro Sato, the animations of Masaharu Sato* and the installations of Lee Kit.* With their divergent approaches and unique perceptions of time, these artists seek to capture the ever-changing flow of the world that surrounds them. Perhaps in their work, we may find clues that can help us better notice the details of 2020 with the chance of remembering them.
*Works by these artists will be taken from the Hara Museum Collection.

Tomoki Imai
Imai was born in 1974 in Hiroshima. In this exhibition, he introduces selections from his series Semicircle Law (2013-), which he shot on various peaks within 30 km of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant with the camera pointed in its direction, including new works taken from the grounds of the Hara Museum. Other works are from his earlier series, Mahiru (2001) and Light and Gravity (2009). Together, they provide insight into the mind of the artist.

Tomoki Imai, ”Semicircle Law #42 2018.9.11 / 33km”, 2020 
26.9 x 37.4 cm C-print ©Tomoki Imai

Tamotsu Kido
Kido was born in 1974 in Mie. In his work, he seeks to capture the “sudden senselessness” that arises when things deviate from their original roles within the mundane scenes of everyday life. In doing so, his aim is to throw light on the inherent strangeness of the act of seeing and being. Another focus is the structure of photographs and compositions made with color and light which he pursues through technical experimentation. In photographs taken at the Hara Museum, he seeks to express a world of richness as an extension of everyday life.

Tamotsu Kido, “Sunlight and Mandarin Orange”, 2019
C-print ©Tamotsu Kido

Lee Kit
Born in Hong Kong in 1978 and based in Taipei, Lee Kit represented Hong Kong at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. With painting, video and mundane objects as his materials, he actively creates on-site art throughout the world. He often uses his interaction with the location as inspiration for works imbued with a poetic sensibility and social and political consciousness. This exhibition features Flowers (2018, Hara Museum Collection), an installation of both projected and natural lighting that creates a feeling of tranquility within the exhibition space.

Lee Kit, “Flowers”, 2018 acrylic, emulsion paint, inkjet ink and pencil on cardboard, projector light size varied
©Lee Kit Photo: Shigeru Muto

Masaharu Sato
Born in Oita in 1973, Sato pioneered a new kind of animation that involved the faithful tracing of live-action images. Works from his series entitled Tokyo Trace (2015-2016, Hara Museum Collection) show scenes of a city destined to host the Olympics in five years’ time. Sato, who passed away in 2019, uses the subtle difference between his traced animations and the original footage to create works that straddles the divide between reality and fiction, providing viewers with an intriguingly new visual experience.

Masaharu Sato, “Tokyo Trace”, 2015-2016 12-channel video
size varied ©Masaharu Sato

Tokihiro Sato
Sato was born in 1957 in Yamagata. Since the 1980s, he has focused mainly on the themes of light, time, space, the human body and life. Sato is known for his Photo-Respiration series of photographs made using long exposures by which presence and movement within a landscape are indicated solely by points of light from a handheld penlight or mirror. Also included are new works in the series made with a digital camera at the Hara Museum which is scheduled to close at the end of this exhibition, and at Hara Museum ARC which will continue as the sole venue.

Tokihiro Sato, “Photo-Respiration”, 2020 pigment print
©Tokihiro Sato

Participating Artists

Tomoki Imai, Tamotsu Kido, Lee Kit, Masaharu Sato, Tokihiro Sato


September 19 (Saturday), 2020 – January 11 (Monday/national holiday), 2021 *Exhibition period has been revised.

Organized by

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

Supported by by

Hara Museum Supporting Members


Mondays (except September 21, November 23 and January 11), September 23, November 24 and year-end/New Year holiday (December 28 – January 4).


Weekdays 11:00 – 16:00 / Weekends & national holidays 11:00 – 17:00


A reservation is required in order to visit the museum.
General 1,100 yen; Students 700 yen (high school and university) or 500 yen (elementary and junior high); 550 yen for those over 70; Free for Hara Museum members and for students through high school every Saturday during the school term

Related Events

Symposium: Tomoki Imai + Tamotsu Kido + Tokihiro Sato
September 20 (Sunday)

This event brings together three photographers who came to the medium from three different backgrounds: Imai from the study of aesthetics, Kido from painting and Sato from sculpture. During this symposium, they talked about their own work and the possibilities of photographic expression.

The symposium can be seen on YouTube.

Tokihiro Sato: A View of the City in a Rear Car Camera
October 3 (Saturday) and October 17 (Saturday)

*Reservations are closed.
Tokihiro Sato’s invention “Rear Car Camera” is a giant, mobile camera that combines a camera obscura (a device that projects outdoor scenery into a darkened room through a tiny pinhole) with a “rear car” (trailer) and a bicycle. We invite you to take a ride in the rear car and enjoy the outdoor scenery in the neighborhood around the Hara Museum.
For details, please click here

Tamotsu Kido: Hunting for Sudden Senselessness!
November 8 (Sunday)

*Reservations are closed.
“Sudden senselessness” is a keyword in approaching Kido’s work. Our immediate surroundings are filled with scenes so strange that the only appropriate description is “sudden senselessness,” but they hardly enter our consciousness in the hustle and bustle of daily life. Prior to the workshop, participants will be asked to shoot a lot of scenes that strike their fancy or make them question “what is this?,” in other words, scenes that are “suddenly senseless.”
For details, please click here

Tomoki Imai: Designing an Exhibit According to Your Own Rules!
November 28 (Saturday)

*Reservations are closed.
Tomoki Imai’s Semicircle Law series was shot according to a rule (“law”) that stipulates all images should be of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant taken from within a radius of 30 km of the plant. In the display of the works, another rule stipulates that the wall on which the works appear should be oriented in a way that directs the viewers’ gaze beyond the wall and towards the power plant as they are looking. In this workshop, each participant will design an exhibit that follows rules created by themselves. For example, a rule that stipulates that all works are to be of the same size, or that all works of the same color are to be displayed on the same wall, etc. Through the deliberate creation of rules and their follow through, participants will see more clearly the overlapping points with Imai’s exhibit.
For details, please click here

During the exhibition Time Flows: Reflections by 5 Artists, “quiet guerrilla recitals” will be held, to highlight the “tracing” concept pioneered by the featured artist Masaharu Sato. For each recital, a pianist performs a musical piece on a player piano, an act which constitutes the “tracing” of the composer’s musical score. This is then followed by the continuous “tracing” of the performance by the player piano. Recitals will happen during museum hours, so if you are lucky, you may chance upon one during your visit!

Supported by: MRA Foundation