Events / art

Opposite the Sun Is Where the Blue Sky Lies: Works from the Hara Museum and the Hara Rokuro Collections

Mar 24 - Jan 8

The contrast between the blue of the sky and the deep green of the mountains, the autumn color of the leaves, and the stark black of Arata Isozaki’s architecture presents an awe-inspiring sight not to be found elsewhere.

If the sky were the art world, then the sun would be where the mainstream and more orthodox expressions dominate, while the areas opposite the sun are where artists break new ground by defying conventional wisdom and current values, adopting different points of view, questioning social and artistic trends in their own quiet ways and dive deep within themselves to find new ways of expression. The works by such artists from Japan and abroad, including Shusaku Arakawa, Shigeko Kubota, Gilbert & George, and Joseph Beuys, are presented in Galleries A, B and C.

On display in the special exhibition space, Kankai Pavilion is work by Shiba Kokan, who devoted himself to Western painting and science during the Edo period when Japan was closed to the world, and Yokoyama Taikan, who rejected the traditional reliance in Japanese painting on line and pioneered an original style that was pejoratively dubbed “morotai” or “vague” at the time. Also on view will be beautiful masterworks exquisitely colored sky blue: a Celadon vase with a long neck on a globular body (National Treasure) and Celadon glazed incense burner (on display from April 12 to May 10), two works from the Hara Rokuro Collection which are normally kept at the Tokyo National Museum. As an additional attraction, varying sections of Saga-bon and Koetsu-bon, rare specimens of Noh librettos (yokyokubon in Japanese) will also be on display during Parts I and II. According to existing records, the Celadon glazed incense burner last appeared in the special exhibition Japanese and Chinese Celadon Ware that was held at the Tokyo Imperial Household Museum (now Tokyo National Museum) in 1902. On the other hand, the Noh librettos are being shown to the public for the first time ever.


Ai Weiwei, Masako Ando, On Kawara, Lee Kit, Gilbert & George, Tokihiro Sato, Yoshihiro Suda, Yoshitomo Nara, Joseph Beuys, Miwa Yanagi, Shusaku Arakawa, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Tetsumi Kudo, Shigeko Kubota, Christo, Willem de Kooning, Ushio Shinohara, Mika Ninagawa, Ernesto Neto, Yasumasa Morimura, Robert Mapplethorpe, Mark Rothko et al.

Opening Hours


Adults ¥1800, University and High School Students ¥1000, Junior High and Elementary School Students ¥800


¥100 off / Up to 3 people / Applicable to general public and students. Cannot be combined with other discounts.


Hara Museum ARC

2855-1 Kanai, Shibukawa-shi, Gunma 377-0027


10 minutes by taxi from Shibukawa Station on the JR Joetsu line; From JR Shibukawa Station, take the Kan-etsu Kotsu bus towards Ikaho Onsen and get off at Green Bokujo-mae. The venue is 7 minute walk from there