The Superlative Artistry of Japan

Vermilion tomon-ra fabric by KITAMURA Takeshi

This exhibition captures Japan’s creative culture and Monozukuri spirit – the passion and devotion in producing things – through the theme of Chōzetsu-Gikō, superlative artistry, which refers to the exceptional methods and techniques used.

The Superlative Artistry of Japan exhibition presents a cohesive collection of works and materials from various genres that place great emphasis on highly skilled techniques which incorporate ingenious expressions and concepts. An extremely high level of technical perfection takes viewers by surprise. Elaborate kōgei craft works from the Meiji era (1868–1912) are introduced as a starting point, looking back at their star status in the expositions of 19th- century Europe. Meiji kōgei pieces were one of the first international impacts of Japan, which initiated the Japonism trend.

The following main body of this exhibition consists of numerous contemporary works of superlative artistry, embracing pop-culture products, such as capsule toy figures and food samples, that illustrate a strong commitment to craftsmanship.

Through this exhibition we intend to introduce the outstanding techniques of each work as well as the worlds of expression that serve to even surpass such skill and finesse. It is hoped that viewers will be able to appreciate this specific part of Japan’s creative culture that honors craftsmanship and has constantly shown a thorough sense of meticulousness and devotion towards production processes.

Admission: FREE

Gallery Hours: Hourly timeslots starting at 11:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 1:30PM, 2:30 PM, and 3:30 PM

Due to COVID-19 precautions, we are limiting visitation to 5 hourly timeslots per day. In order to maintain social distancing, we are limiting the number of visitors to 10 in each timeslot. 

Monday CLOSED  
Tuesday OPEN  
Wednesday CLOSED  
Thursday OPEN  
Friday CLOSED  
Saturday OPEN *select dates only: August 6, 20, 27
Sunday CLOSED  

We take the health and safety of our patrons and staff very seriously. Please wear facial coverings at all times while you are on the premises. Hand sanitizers will be available for your convenience. Your cooperation will be deeply appreciated.

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The exhibition features 38 items and groups in a wide range of genres and eras:

Meiji Era Kōgei (enamel, Satsuma ceramic, lacquerware, Jizai metalwork, embroidery)
Diorama by ARAKI Satoshi
Objects by FUKAHORI Riusuke
Photography by HONJŌ Naoki
Installation by IWASAKI Takahiro
Woven works: KITAMURA Takeshi
Solo dance in digital environment by UMEDA hiroaki
Paintings by YAMAGUCHI Akira
Ceramics YAMAMOTO Ichiyō
Figures produced by Kaiyōdō
3D objects by MISHIMA Kimiyo
Paintings by NISHIWAKI Naoki
Wood carving by SUDA Yoshihiro
Installation by SUZUKI Yasuhiro
Food Samples and Shokugan (small toys sold with candy)


This exhibition is produced by the Japan Foundation.
Exhibition Supervisor: YAMASHITA Yūji. Produced in 2017.

Wood carving by SUDA Yoshihiro