Notification regarding the Closing of the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (Shinagawa, Tokyo) at the end of December 2020

The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Shinagawa, Tokyo was established in 1979 and Hara Museum ARC in Shibukawa, Gunma in 1988 by the Foundation Arc-en-Ciel. Both venues (accredited museums under the Museum Law of Japan) served as a base for the promotion of contemporary art and international exchange.

Due to the factors detailed below, the Foundation has decided that effective December 31, 2020, the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art will be closed and that the current Hara Museum ARC will become the sole venue for all museum activities thereafter.

The building that comprises the Hara Museum was originally built as a personal residence in 1938 by the industrialist Kunizo Hara, the grandfather of the current Foundation chairman Toshio Hara. It was later transformed into a museum that has garnered wide acclaim for its distinctive gallery spaces. Since its transformation, it has undergone numerous repairs and extensions, but over the course of 80 years, the building itself has continued to age. It has been estimated that at some point it will no longer be able to carry out its function as a museum open to the general public. Furthermore, since it is an old structure that has been re-purposed, the issue of public accessibility in terms of universal and barrier-free design cannot be overlooked. Taking these realities, plus the severe restrictions imposed on the reconstruction of old buildings, into consideration, a decision has been made to consolidate all activities at Hara Museum ARC and to make it the sole base of operations.

Designed by the world-renowned architect Arata Isozaki, Hara Museum ARC is situated in the highlands at the foot of Mt. Haruna in close proximity to the famous Ikaho hot spring resort. The wooden structures of the museum, surrounded by verdant greenery on expansive grounds, are in and of themselves works of art. In 2008, the Kankai Pavilion was added as a venue for the Hara Rokuro Collection of traditional East-Asian art. Hara Museum ARC, which celebrates its 30th founding anniversary this year, is thus the ideal inheritor of the Hara Museum’s pioneering spirit. It is our great hope that you will look to Hara Museum ARC for the opportunity to enjoy art within a setting rich and in harmony with nature.

As for the remaining two years at the Hara Museum, the schedule after the current exhibition Lee Kit ‘We used to be more sensitive.’ ends includes Sophie Calle, Exquisite Pain from the Hara Museum Collection (January 5 to March 28, 2019), Jae-Eun Choi’s Our Time-Future’s Past (April 13 to July 28) and a solo exhibition by Izumi Kato.

We look forward for your continued support in the years ahead.

The Foundation Arc-en-Ciel

November 2018

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