Sophie Calle, “Exquisite Pain” from the Hara Museum Collection

© Sophie Calle / ADAGP, Paris 2018 and JASPAR, Tokyo, 2018

When Sophie Calle held the exhibition Exquisite Pain at the Hara Museum (1999-2000), the response was huge. It was the first solo show at a Japanese museum for the internationally acclaimed French artist. The work was acquired by the Hara Museum immediately after the show ended and is now being presented in its entirety, occupying the entire museum again after a hiatus of 19 years. “Exquisite pain” refers to the pain of a broken relationship that Calle experienced. In this work, the story of her pain and recovery is told through photographs and texts. Letters to her most beloved person and photographs of the days up until the fateful day of the breakup comprise “Count down” (part one). The gradual recovery that she achieved by sharing her story with others and listening in turn to theirs comprise “Count up” (part two). The unfolding of this story and her encounters with other clearly touched the hearts of many viewers. Through it all, however, runs a fuzzy distinction between fact and fiction which underscores the danger of unquestioning belief. It is a work that will surely provoke many questions in the viewer’s mind.


  • Period

  • Venue

    Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
    4-7-25 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
  • Admission

    Adults 1,100yen
    College and High school students 700yen
    Senior(70 and over) 550yen
    Elementary and junior high school students 500yen

    For more details, visit the official site.

  • Closed days

    Mondays (except on holidays, then closed on Tuesday)

  • Opening hours

    11:00〜17:00 ※Open until 20:00 every Wednesdays ※Last entry 30 minutes before closing
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