The One about “Decoration never dies, anyway” at the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum Part 1

In 1983, the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum opened to the public.

Located at the building that was the former residence of Prince and Princess Asaka and was influenced by studying in Paris in the 1920s.

While I will discuss more about the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum in the near future, I wanted to discuss their latest exhibition, “Decoration never dies, anyway”.

The exhibit began on Novemer 18th and ends on February 25, 2018.  Price of admission Y1,100 for adults, Y880 for college and vocational students, Y550 junior high and high school students and Y550 for seniors.

For photographers, photography is encouraged.  Flash photography and tripod use is not.  Video is discouraged.

According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum:

Decoration has always existed together in hand with mankind. Beginning with rituals mourning the deceased and tattoos associated with sorcery, although on occasion rendered a mere formality, it is that which has continued to persist while repeatedly undergoing changes and harboring new meanings in correspondence to the times. Decoration could indeed be described as being constantly in flux, in an endless cycle of transmigration. This exhibition features seven artists whom are all different in age, nationality, and genre. The means of expression they employ are diverse, including a trailer adorned with Gothic decoration, carpets that mix together patterns derived from various cultural spheres, and paintings that through the facade of windows imagines the life and personalities of the people who live there. In their works the artists juxtapose entirely different epochs and values, imagine worlds that do not actually exist, and attempt to interpret the concept of “decoration” as it exists in the context of daily life. In observing their endeavors, we as viewers recognize that the act of decoration is indeed the essential key to perceiving the vivid and complex reality that inextricably surrounds us. After all, “Decoration never dies, anyway.”

I will be discussing a few of the artists and their featured work.  Because of the number of things features, I will break down my blog post of “Decoration never dies, anyway” in a few posts.

Wim Delvoye

Wim Delvoye is one of the Belgian neo-conceptual artists known for his creative work. Featured are his works “Rimowa: Classic Flight Multiwheel”, “Rimowa: Topass Cabin Multiwheel”, “Rimowa: Classic Flight Attache Case” and is made of embossed medium.

While Wim Delvoye is known for his tattoed live pigs and x-rays of sexual acts, Wim Delvoye challenges the art world status quo through a multidisciplinary practice that includes sculpture, drawing, photography, installation and video.

Inspired by churches and effigies of Christ in his hometown, and you can see those influences in his intricate sculptures made of laser-cut stainless steel.

The amount of detail in his sculptures were amazing, complex and mesmerizing to look at.  I spent a lot of time just looking at Delvoye’s work.

Akiko & Masako Takada

Twins Akiko and Masako Takada are known to take every day items and make something creative out of them.  And at the “Decoration never dies, anyway” exhibition, one of the coolest things to see was their miniature books and ladder (made of a clothespin).  The books themselves were smaller than an inch but were full of detail showcasing their magnificent handwork.

A light is shined on them to create a shadow on the shelf area and you can’t help but marvel on the amount of detail featured.

Makiko Yamamoto

Makiko is an artist that draws windows of strangers homes, using her imagination to create the lives and personalities of the people who live within.  She even goes as far as to include residents into her work in order to recreate the scenes.  Ten pieces for her “Through the Windows” series is featured for “Decoration never dies, anyway”.   This is just a little of the work that Makiko has done, on her website, you can see other projects that she has worked on.

And there is more to feature from these artists and more in my next blog posts.