Recommended Exhibition in Japan for March 2023

NPO Aoyama Design Forum presents the recommended exhibitions of art galleries and museums in March 2023. In addition to the schedule of events, we will provide you with detailed information such as the works on display. Please check the website of each museum for current opening hours before visiting.


Little Island (2021), New York, Photo: Timothy Schenck

Mori Art Museum "Heatherwick Studio: Building Soulfulness"

Mori Art Museum presents the exhibition "Heatherwick Studio: Building Soulfulness" from Friday, March 17, 2023, to Sunday, June 4, 2023, at Tokyo City View (indoor observatory). Founded in London in 1994, Heatherwick Studio is currently one of the world's most prominent design groups, working on innovative projects around the world, including New York, Singapore, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
Founder Thomas Heatherwick (b. 1970, England) says that even as a child, he was fascinated by the soul that resides in the small things made by artisans. "Is it possible to translate that soul into a large building or space called architecture?"-This question became the starting point for Heatherwick Studio's design.

All designs are based on the belief that the human scale is the norm, even for large-scale projects like urban planning, while incorporating the energy of the natural world and the memory of architecture.

Behind this can be a desire to create spaces where people can gather, interact and enjoy themselves, not just hardware design like products and buildings. Learning about the history of things and their regions, exploring different materials, respecting traditional craft techniques, and using cutting-edge technology to create a space full of innovative ideas of which no one has thought. Being here. As we re-evaluate our relationship with the city and the natural environment in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Heatherwick Studio's designs will give us even more inspiration than ever to meet the needs of the times to come.

This exhibition is the first in Japan to present 28 of Heatherwick Studio's major projects in one sizeable open-air space. Through repeated experimentation, they seek to bring new ideas to life to "become one," "connect with everyone," "experience sculptural spaces," "feel nature in urban spaces," and "connect memories with the future." "play, use" From six perspectives, we will explore what kind of architecture can produce kindness, beauty, intellectual excitement, and empathy that moves people's hearts.


Little Island (2021), New York, Photo: Timothy Schenck

  • Date: March 17 (Friday) to June 4 (Sunday), 2023
  • Venue: Tokyo City View (Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 52F)
  • Opening hours: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. (Last admission 21:00 p.m.)
  • Closed: Open daily during the exhibition period
  • URL:

National Art Museum, Osaka 24th Nakanoshima Film Theater "Following the Films of Care"

At the 24th Nakanoshima Film Theater, this film theater will examine the veins of postwar Japanese documentary film from the perspective of care. "Care" refers to actions such as consideration for health and assistance to that end, and it is practiced not only in nursing, care, welfare, and childcare but also in all areas related to survival. Connections between care recipients and caregivers who are isolated and suffering from the community and society can create new communities not bound by existing human relationships. In today's social situation, where individual judgment and responsibility are strongly required, caregiving is a reminder of how relationships with various actors support life activities.


Shooting scene of "Otentosama ga Ishii" Photo courtesy of Mother Bird

  • Date: 18 (Sat) and 19 (Sun) March 2023
  • Venue: National Museum of Art, Osaka, first basement auditorium
  • Capacity: 100 people (all seats are available, first come, first served), replacement system for each program. Numbered tickets for each program on the day will be distributed from 10:00 am (one per person).
  • Participation fee: Free of charge
18. March (Sat)

13:00- Program A (At the beginning, the person in charge will explain)
"The World of the Demented Old Man" (16mm/1986/84 min) *National Film Archive
* The title of the work will be written as it is to respect the original.

15:30- Program B
"Otento-sama ga Ishii" (16mm/1994/47min)
"Nursery School Sunday" (Digital screening [original: 16mm] / 1997 / 20min.)

17:30- Program C
"Eyes Seeing Children - From the Record of a Childcare Worker's Practice" (16mm / 1978 / 45min) *National Film Archive of Japan *Screening with a faded print
"Friends" (Digital screening [original: 35mm] / 1961 / 59 min.)

19. March (Sun.)

10:30- D Program (At the beginning, the person in charge will explain)
"Children Before Dawn" (16mm [Original: 35mm] / 1968 / 116 min.) *National Film Archive

13:30- Program E
Sotchiya Nai Kokochiya - Road to Community Care - (16mm/1982/110 min) *National Film Archive of Japan

15:50- Program F
《Nursing school is not all right! '79.1.26-31 From the constant struggle against the Ministry of Education' (16mm / 50 min / 1979) *Kobe Film Museum Collection

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo "Spring Festival at the Museum"

From March 17 to April 9, 2023, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, will hold a spring festival called "Museum Spring Festival" in conjunction with the cherry blossom. The collection exhibition "MOMAT Collection" features Gyokuju Funada's "Hana no Yu," whose pink petals delight the eye, Yoshifumi Kikuchi's "Yoshino, where the rain is falling," and Yoshino's cherry blossoms lyrically standing in the rain. Beautiful screens such as "Cherry Blossoms" by Atomi Tamae will enliven the exhibition space. In addition, some 30 works will be displayed, including works such as "Hansui Hyakkafu," a collection of prints with floral motifs by designer Hisui Sugiura.

In addition to a conversation rally where you can admire spring-themed works online, the museum will sell spring-themed original merchandise, set up a rest area in the front garden, and sell drinks and food to go. They also have special plans for the Spring Festival. Enjoy competing with the blooming cherry blossoms around the museum, including Chidori-ga-fuchi, and take a walk to find your flowers.


  • Date: March 17 (Friday) to April 9 (Sunday), 2023
  • Venue: National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (Takebashi, Tokyo)
  • Closed: Mondays (but open on March 27)
  • Opening hours: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (until 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays) Admission until 30 minutes before closing
  • The accompanying exhibition "The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo 70th Anniversary Exhibition Secrets of Important Cultural Properties" will open at 9:30 a.m

* The works of the Spring Festival will be on display until May 14 (Sun)

Art Tower Mito Exhibition "Arata Isozaki - Creating Art Tower Mito

Art Tower Mito hosts the "Arata Isozaki - Creating Art Tower Mito" exhibition starting Wednesday, March 1. Arata Isozaki, the architect who designed Art Tower Mito, passed away in Okinawa on December 28, 2018. In memory of Mr. Isozaki, this exhibition reproduces the "Arata Isozaki - Art Tower Mito Origins" held at the museum in 2019, along with Mr. Isozaki's silkscreen prints and materials from the time the museum was designed.


Panorama photographed by Jun Tazawa Photo courtesy of Art Tower Mito

  • Date: March 1 (Wednesday) to June 25 (Sunday), 2023
  • Event time: 10:00-18:00 (admission until 17:30)
  • Venue: Room 9, contemporary art gallery, Art Tower Mito, and corridor on the 2nd floor
  • Closed: Mondays
  • Admission fee: Free


The Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo has a collection of about 5,600 works from modernism to the present, emphasizing post-war art. The exhibition "MOT Collection" tries to convey the diverse appeal of contemporary art by showing the works in the collection from different perspectives for each exhibition period. This time it will present two themes. On the 1st floor, works from the end of the 1980s onward will be exhibited under the title of "Himaku Kyojitsu."

The starting point is the keyword "film" that Mikami used simultaneously with her newly acquired work by Seiko Mikami in the early 1990s. In addition, about 30 years have passed, tracing the diverse works of Tomoaki Ishihara, Noritoshi Hirakawa, Takashi Homma, Yoshiaki Kaihatsu, Mika Kato, Kohei Nawa, Aya Momose, Ishu Han, Thomas Demand, Rikijun Ho, and others. The exhibition will focus on the passage of about 30 years, the body changes, and the view of life that can be seen there.

The 3rd floor is titled "Breathing through Breathing" and consists of works that evoke the flow of wind, water, and air connected to human breathing and circles around the world. Beginning with a series of large-scale paintings by Sam Francis, who celebrates his 100th birthday this year, the exhibition will present works by Montien Bummer, Sophiap Pich, Toshikatsu Endo, Yoko Matsumoto, and others that will open the viewer's senses.


  • Date: Saturday, March 18, 2023 through Sunday, June 18, 2023
  • Closed: Mondays
  • Opening hours: 10:00-18:00 (admission to the exhibition halls until 30 minutes before closing)
  • Admission fee: general 500 yen / students and vocational students 400 yen / high school students / 65 years and older 250 yen / junior high school students and younger free (or you can visit the exhibition with a special ticket)
  • Venue: Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art, collection exhibition space

21_21 DESIGN SIGHT A Special Exhibition "The Original"

21_21 DESIGN SIGHT will show a special exhibition, "The Original" from March 3, 2023. Takahiro Tsuchida, a design journalist, will serve as exhibition director. This exhibition defines and presents designs that have a profound impact on the world as "The Original". "The Original" here does not necessarily mean the "beginning" of the history of manufacturing. It has an original charm and influence inspires many designers, and its essence is passed on to later generations. The venue will display over 100 products - from furniture and tableware to textiles and toys - selected by Takahiro Tsuchida, Naoto Fukasawa, and Kaoru Tashiro, who are at the forefront of design. Through photos and texts that convey their charm, the exhibition will introduce in detail the idea behind "The Original." Revisiting "The Original" brings us a context that transcends the time of design and a connection to the designers who created it, which will expand the possibilities of how we think and act.


Photo; PRODUCT: Faye Toogood "Roly Poly" (2018, Driade)

  • Dates: Friday, March 3, 2023 - Sunday, June 25, 2023
  • Closed: Tuesdays (open March 21)
  • Opening hours: 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. (admission until 6:30 p.m.)
  • Venue: 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT Gallery 1 & 2
  • Organizer: 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, Issey Miyake Design Culture Foundation

A Collective Exhibition With 37 Artists -The Art Gallery Cafe "WHAT CAFE"

"WHAT CAFE EXHIBITION vol.25 " will be held from 11 (Sat) to 26 (Sun) March 2023 at the art gallery Cafe "WHAT CAFE" in Tennoz, operated by Warehouse TERRADA. This exhibition has been planned and implemented by CCC Art Lab, TC Lab, and SOMSOC Gallery, who sympathize with the activities of WHAT CAFE, which brings together young artists with collectors/art fans and introduces 37 young artists working in Japan and overseas.


  • Date: Saturday, March 11, 2023 to Sunday, March 26, 2023
  • Venue: WHAT CAFE
  • Opening hours: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (closing at 5:00 p.m. on the last day)
  • Admission fee: Free

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo "Secrets of Important Cultural Assets: Until a Controversial Work Becomes a Masterpiece"

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (Takebashi, Tokyo) opened in December 1952, and 2022 marks the 70th anniversary of its opening. To mark the occasion, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, will hold the 70th-anniversary exhibition "Secrets of Important Cultural Properties" from Friday, March 17, 2023, to Sunday, May 14, 2023. This magnificent exhibition exclusively features paintings, sculptures, and handicrafts that have been classified as important cultural properties since the Meiji era. However, it is not just an exhibition of masterpieces. Although the work is called a "masterpiece" today, it was also a "controversial work" when it was first published, establishing a new form of expression that had not existed before. It will also approach the mysteries of art history, such as how the evaluation of such works has changed and how they have been declared important cultural assets. The exhibition will introduce the transition of modern Japanese art history resulting from transforming a "controversial work" into a "masterpiece."


Yuichi Takahashi 《Salmon》 Important cultural property
Circa 1877 (Meiji 10) Tokyo University of the Arts collection, year-round exhibition

  • Venue: National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Special Exhibition Gallery 1F
  • Date: March 17 (Friday) to May 14 (Sunday), 2023
  • Closed: Mondays (but open March 27, May 1 and 8)
  • Opening hours: 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (9:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays)

*Admission until 30 minutes before closing

*Opening at 9:30 a.m. only during exhibition hours (however, the "MOMAT Collection" opens at 10:00 a.m.)

*Admission until 30 minutes before closing

WATOWA GALLERY / THE BOX TOKYO "Depths of Dreams - Dreams, Time, Memories"

The Project Production Collective WATOWA GALLERY presents the exhibition "Depths of Dreams - Dreams, Time, Memories" by five artists in paintings, photographs, installations, and videos. It will be on view from Sunday, March 12, through Sunday, March 26. In ancient times, dreams were considered messages from supernatural beings such as gods, and in psychology, it is said that the subconscious and repressed emotions appear as dreams. On the dream stage, where time and space overlap, a story unfolds in which various elements such as people's past and future, reality and delusion, and consciousness and subconsciousness intermingle and emerge in a complicated way.


  • Date: Sunday, March 12, 2023 to Sunday, March 26, 2023
  • Opening hours: 12:00-19:00
  • Admission price: From 500 yen (donation system to determine the amount yourself) , Free on March 15 and 22
  • Reservation::Advance booking