TOP Collection Reading Images: The Stories of Four Places

The TOP Collection is an exhibition that presents works from the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum Collection. This year’s theme is “reading images.” We will be thinking about the visual images in the works and how they might be interpreted. Using individual photographs and series made up of multiple pictures, which were specially selected from the museum’s collection of over 35,000 items, we will focus on the story told by each of the works. As we shed light on the underlying meaning and relationship between the works, and turn our attention to the universal narrative that is contained in the photographic medium itself, we invite visitors to engage in the rich viewing experience of reading images. The first part of the exhibition, starting in the spring, deals with the stories of four places. The artists looked carefully at a place or region, and in addition to capturing the specific way of life, landscape, and events that occurred there, they apprehended the essence of hidden things and universal meanings that dwelled beyond real phenomena, and composed their works out of photographs and texts. In this exhibition, we examine four approaches that are closely connected to these places and focus on the expansive narrative world that arises from each of them.


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The Tsuzuri Project: The Art of Hokusai, reproduced from the collection of the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution

The Freer Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, renowned for its superb collection of Japanese Art, has remained unknown among many people here in Japan due to the museum policy of not lending its holdings to outside institutions. Hereupon, in cooperation with the Freer Gallery of Art, the Tsuzuri project, organized by Kyoto Culture Association and Canon, reproduced 13 paintings selected from the Freer’s collection of Hokusai paintings, which is the world’s finest and largest of its kind. This time the Sumida Hokusai Museum will hold an exhibition focusing on those high-resolution facsimiles, together with about 130 related works out of their own collection. The exhibition


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