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    Museum Week: Monday

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    Good morning all.

    Did you all enjoy a nice, long weekend? Hopefully you had better weather than we did!

    After an entire weekend of rain, rain, and more rain, I made a rather bold decision on Sunday evening.

    These next few days we would not be stuck in our apartment~no matter what. After the wee one's nap we'd head out into the city to have some fun.

    Welcome to Museum Week, friends!

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    Each day we'll do our best to travel about Tokyo and visit a different museum. It's a fun indoor activity that you can loose yourself in for hours, and many of the city's art galleries have areas of creative play for young children as well.

    Like so...

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    It would be a little out-of-the-apartment playtime for the scallywag, and a cultural feast for my mind and eyes.

    Yesterday we were unexpectedly graced with 30 minutes of sunshine. It was more than enough time to walk from our home to the subway station and enjoy the fresh air.

    And where was our Monday destination?

    The Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills.

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    Located in the famous Mori Tower, the museum is actually located on the 53rd floor.
    Can you imagine?

    It has the most spectacular views!!

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    Of course, someone was much more interested in the benches than the view from the top. They were perfect for steering his train.

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    This was fine by me. While he was playing conductor, I was able to sit back and watch the storm clouds roll back in. Within 10 minutes, our view went from fairly cloudy,

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    to cloudier,

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    to near dark within the observation area.

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    If that wasn't enough encouragement to get moving, the rain certainly was. Weren't we there to avoid it?

    Off we went, heading past the cafes and bars to our main destination.

    We were going to see a pretty specific exhibit~something totally out of my comfort zone:

    French Window: Looking at Contemporary Art Through the Marcel Duchamp Prize.

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    A little about the exhibit:

    "The exhibition provides an opportunity to experience contemporary French art as it exists today – a unique expression of the nation’s psychological landscape – and at the same time it provides insight into how the collectors of this art incorporate it into their own lives.

    The exhibition’s title refers to Duchamp’s well known work Fresh Widow, which depicts a French window, and a similar theme is continued through the show’s five sections: "Duchamp's Window," "The View from the Window," "The Window of Time and Space," "The Window of the Inner World" and "Inside the Window." Together, they provide a comprehensive view of the contemporary French art scene. The exhibition begins with important works by Duchamp himself, and then presents the esprit of contemporary French art through a selection of paintings, sculptures, photographs, installations and videos made by artists of diverse ages and cultural backgrounds. The final section includes a re-creation of a French collector's apartment, complete with artworks."


    I won't lie~my first impressions were not favorable.

    Most of the exhibit was pretty bizarre, if not pedestrian. But maybe that is what contemporary French art is all about. The everyday. The mundane.

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    Entering into the large, white gallery space I knew I wasn't going to view art in the traditional sense. I knew this, yet I was still a little jarred by how odd the pieces were. Some were neat, but others were plain strange. As we approached the end, a teeny-tiny part of me started to wonder if I'd wasted money on this outing.

    I certainly didn't want to leave with that feeling, so I put my thinking cap on, turned my little guy around and went back to the beginning. Don't misunderstand, I know not all art needs to be loved or understood, but I felt like I was really missing something here. Surely there was more to this art than met the eye.

    The Duchamp exhibit deserved a second try, and a second try it got.

    In an effort to enjoy the individual pieces I tried to see what the artists were attempting to do. I tried to remember that this was showcasing unique works from a contemporary psychological landscape. I tried to dig a little deeper.

    It wasn't the easiest thing to do, and at times I wondered if I was trying too hard. Still, I'm glad I didn't walk away after my initial impressions. Though this type of art is not my cup of tea, it felt good to take it all in and challenge my ├╝ber traditional tastes.

    And after a little while, I loosened up and found the humor in certain pieces. I saw the tragedy in others.

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    Some pieces were just plain fun. But hands down I was most amused by this one~simply because it completely captivated my two-year old.

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    Written backwards on his chest is "The Big One World". With his fist proudly held up in the air, the little guy found something in this Michelin Man-esque statue that he identified with. In fact, after I mentioned something about the fist pump being associated with "fighting the power", the scallywag held up his fist and shouted, "Power!".

    And there you have it.

    Art, even in its most bizarre and unexpected forms, has the ability to touch the youngest patron. Perhaps because a child's mind is more open, they can see things the way they're intended to be seen. I felt like I had to work a bit harder than I'd like to see beyond what was being presented.

    Maybe this type of art isn't for me, and that's okay. Because even if I wasn't moved by it, my son apparently was. He found something redeeming within the "French Window" exhibit. And he helped me to see it as well.

    I can only wonder what Tuesday will bring...

    I guess we'll find out together. See you then!

    All Museum Art photos courtesy of arndtberlin.com, toufait.com, mutualart.com

    5 Responses to “
    Museum Week: Monday

    Ruth said...

    The pics of the clouds rolling in are great.
    What a fun way to spend a rainy day.

    The Southern Lady said...

    Thanks Ruth! It really was enjoyable~the observation area being the absolute best part.

    Ally Garner said...

    The little Blossom always look so stinkin' cute in his smocked jon jons! I know these rainy days must be tough for the children, and you too as well. The museum trip looks fun though. Those views are simply spectacular!

    Hoping the dreary days are over soon. Thanks so much for sharing all of the great photos!

    Southern Living: Preppy Style said...

    Wonderful pictures! You always get such fabulous shots...I'm learning to use my Nikon D90, but I'm not there! I need more practice. Your little one is just too adorable. What a great review of the museum too, I love museums!

    JMW said...

    Sounds like you've been having the weather we've endured for much of the spring - rain, rain and rain. But, the sun is finally here! The museum looks like a great place to visit. Glad the kiddos liked it!