Aomori city in Japan. Step into the space unified in white color and go down to the basement, Chagall appears in the vast space and filled with a sense of fulfillment.
Art museum located in Aomori City, Aomori Prefecture, focusing on contemporary artworks. It can be said that it is one of the representative contemporary art museums in Aomori Prefecture, or rather, Japan, which is on par with the “Towada Art Center” in Towada City, Aomori Prefecture. The museum, located about 15 minutes by car from the center of Aomori City, is a pure white color building on a vast site. In front of the building is a vast grassy field, a tranquil place with people flying kites.
Color is what makes this museum stand out, white and brown. The floors, walls, and ceilings in the hall are all composed of either of these two colors. The outer walls of the building are all white. The white color represents snow, and the brown color represents soil. By the way, the restrooms were unified in white color.
The museum also satisfies one of the prerequisites for an attractive contemporary art museum: the structure of the building is difficult to understand. After entering the main entrance and purchasing a ticket, take the elevator and go down to the second basement floor. That is the structure of the exhibition space.
First of all, there is a space called “Aleko Hall”, which cannot be found in an urban art museum. The space, which is about 20 meters long, wide, and high, has a style that can display huge artworks on the four walls, and Chagall’s paintings were displayed. It will be an great space for the person who like “Chagall”. The exhibition space is located on the second basement floor and the first basement floor, but the staircases that come and go are white spaces. I imagine that the reason why there is no escalator is to increase the effect of this white color.
On the second basement floor, at the back side of the “Aleco Hall”, there is a space where the artworks of “Yoshitomo Nara”, an artist from Aomori Prefecture, are exhibited. From the far end of the space, there is a giant dog sculpture titled “Aomori Dog” through the window glass. This artwok represents this museum. Looking at this series of artworks by “Yoshitomo Nara”, I feel that the presence of this artist was one of the reasons for the construction of this museum. As an artist, it must be more than happy.
At the time of my visit, a poster of a theater arts performed by “Shuji Terayama” was displayed in the long, narrow exhibition space on the first basement floor. This writer who represents this underground theater is also from Aomori Prefecture. Moreover, although there was no exhibition of artworks, there were items related to “Nancy Seki” who made a name for herself as an “eraser print artist” in the museum shop. She is also from Aomori prefecture.
As mentioned in the beginning, the structure of the building is difficult to understand. Although the rooms for permanent exhibitions and special exhibitions are sometimes mixed, what I understood after walking around was that the exhibition rooms are located in the basement, and there is no staircase between the ground floor and the first basement floor for visitors to come and go. I have no idea if it was designed intentionally or not, but this point may add interest to this museum.
In addition, if going to the cafe and museum shop from the main entrance of the museum and go down the stairs to the lower floor, there is a building called “Rokkakudo”, in which Yoshitomo Nara’s artwork is exhibited. This “Rokkakudo” and the above-mentioned “Aomori Dog” can be viewed without entering the museum. In particular, I think many people miss “Rokkakudo”, so please do not forget to visit.
As described earlier, in addition to the Aomori Museum of Art, Aomori Prefecture also has a wonderful museum called the “Towada Art Center”. If you visit these two museums as a set, I think you will be able to rediscover the splendor of Japanese contemporary art. Please visit.
Visited in 2021.
■ Name：Aomori Museum of Art
■ Address : 185 Chikano, Yasuta, Aomori City, Aomori Pref. 038-0021, Japan
(described on Jun 24 2023)