Collection Exhibition 1: Inner Cosmology

2021.6.15(Tue.) - 2021.11.3(Wed.)



2021.6.15(Tue.) - 2021.11.3(Wed.)
10:00-18:00 (until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)


21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa


Adult: ¥450 (¥360)
University: ¥310 (¥240)
Elem/ JH/ HS: Free
65 and over: ¥360
*( ) indicate advance ticket and group rates (20 or more).


Mondays (but open on August 9, September 20, November 1), August 10, September 21

Kanazawa Citizens Free Viewing Days:
Promote the Arts Day (*2nd Sat each month during the period): June 12, July 10, August 14, September 11, October 9
Kanazawa Citizens Free Art Day: November 3
*Admission on the above days is free for Kanazawa City residents. (Proof of residency required.)

For More Information:

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Phone: +81-76-220-2800

In our day-to-day lives there are a great many things over which we have no power. In the face of this reality, by communicating their thoughts to a specific deity, or perhaps to spirits dwelling in nature, or by looking into their own hearts, since time immemorial people have immersed themselves in the vast cosmos beyond their reach alone, and gone about their lives hoping that this transcendent force will bring them reliable everyday blessings. And now as ever, various acts of prayer, religion, and reflection are part and parcel of our daily lives.
One source of the arts, including fine art, music, and dance, also sat alongside these everyday acts. Art, which renders invisible worlds visible, served as a medium to guide people to the infinite universe. And though times change, as long as we continue to seek day-to-day peace in our lives, perhaps this role of art is also manifested in contemporary art, in a different form. “Inner Cosmology” attempts to unravel this aspect of contemporary art through the lens of religion, prayer and reflection (introspection), using mainly works from the Museum’s own collection.
By giving visitors a glimpse into myriad cultures from around the world, through their different forms of religion, prayer, and reflection, we hope this exhibition will not only offer a new perspective on art today, but encourage greater understanding of the sheer diversity of religious culture.

Related Projects

Throughout the exhibition period, a variety of events and workshops are planned with the aim of promoting a deeper understanding of various religions, including collaborative events with religious communities in Kanazawa and tours with IDE Akira, a leading exponent of dark tourism research, exploring the city’s religious heritage. A performance on November 3rd featuring Mukaiyama Tomoko, one of the exhibiting artists, has been canceled due to the impact of COVID-19.
For the latest information, please check the Museum website.

Exhibiting artists
(in alphabetical order)

  • Canan DAGDELEN
    Morton FELDMAN (Invited)
    Fabrice HYBERT
    KATO Izumi
    KUSAMA Yayoi
    MUKAIYAMA Tomoko + Reinier van BRUMMELEN (Invited)
    Shirin NESHAT
    Gerhard RICHTER
    Pipilotti RIST
    TAKEDA Tatsuma (Invited)
    Boglárka Éva ZELLEI (Invited)

Featured artists
and artworks

  • Canan DAGDELEN, AT HOME dot, 2004
    porcelain, fine steel cord
    collection: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © Canan DAGDELEN
    photo: WATANABE Osamu

    Canan DAGDELEN

    Born 1960 in Istanbul, Turkey. Based in Vienna, Austria. Canan Dagdelen, who has lived in Vienna since moving there at the age of 20, creates artworks on themes such as “homeland” and “home” that are light and airy in form yet issue a strong message. A characteristic of her work is the agile sensibility with which her pieces are modeled based on references to the cultural roots of her region of birth, including the block buildings, religious architecture, art, and calligraphy of the Islamic world. Her works also exhibit a critical approach to people’s affiliations to national borders, ethnic groups, cultures, and so on, as well as to perspectives on identity. This exhibition presents AT HOME dot, an abstraction of the traditional Islamic domed house of the artist’s place of birth made up of 546 porcelain spheres.

  • Fabrice HYBERT, Cocoon, 1999
    drawing, watercolors on rice paper, painted wood
    collection: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © Fabrice HYBERT
    photo: KIOKU Keizo

    Fabrice HYBERT

    Born 1961 in Luçon, France. Lives and works in Paris. Reflecting a strong interest in social engagement, Fabrice Hybert‘s artistic practice spans media including sculpture, drawing, painting, video, and performance. He produces works that question everyday behaviors, and open up new perspectives. Hybert also runs an independent broadcasting station, has set up a company called “UR (Unlimited Responsibility)” for the sale of multiples, gives support to other artists, and is involved in improving the distribution system of media and art.
    Presented at the Museum for the first time since its acquisition, this work was produced as a device for nurturing a new style of communication. Modeled as a TV studio, it creates a platform from which various discussions and relationships develop. At this exhibition, it will form a place for people to transcend religious and cultural barriers, and to interact.

  • KATO Izumi, Untitled, 2012
    oil on canvas
    collection: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © KATO Izumi
    photo: SAIKI Taku

    KATO Izumi

    Born 1969 in Shimane, Japan. Lives and works in Tokyo. Kato Izumi graduated from the Department of Oil Painting at Musashino Art University in 1992. Since the 2000s, he has shown in solo and group exhibitions both in Japan and internationally, garnering keen interest in his work shown upon invitation to participate in the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007). Kato depicts human figures with large heads, small limbs, and emphatically rounded bellies, striking for their round, widely spaced eyes, gazing somewhere in the distance, that call to mind primitive art and animistic beliefs. Since the mid-2000s, he has also created wood sculptures, and in recent years is turning to media such as soft vinyl to produce three-dimensional works that seem strangely alive.
    This exhibition presents together an array of the Museum’s iconic Kato Izumi figures.

  • KUSAMA Yayoi, I’ m Here, but Nothing, 2000-
    mixed media installation
    dimensions variable
    collection: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © Yayoi Kusama
    photo: WATANABE Osamu

    KUSAMA Yayoi

    Born 1929 in Nagano, Japan. Lives and works in Tokyo. Kusama Yayoi, whose career stretches back more than 50 years, has had a major impact on the art world both in Japan and overseas. She began exhibiting work in Japan in the early 1950s before moving to the US in 1957. She based herself in New York, creating installations and staging various performances. In 1973 she returned to Japan, where she continues to live and work. Starting out from paintings that depicted her own experiences from childhood, she has gone on to produce large two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and installation pieces, her trademark repeating and multiplying polka dots and nets representing her unique outlook on the world.
    In I’m Here, but Nothing, presented at this exhibition, the installation space is covered with countless dots that turn fluorescent under black light, creating an endless environment in which the viewer themselves almost seems to disappear.

    Anima, Silueta de Cohetes (Firework Piece), Oaxaca, Mexico, 1976
    Super-8mm color, silent film transferred to DVD
    2 min. 22 sec.
    collection: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC
    courtesy: Galerie Lelong, New York


    Born 1948 in Havana, Cuba, Died 1985 in New York, USA. Ana Mendieta immigrated to the United States at the age of 12 following Cuba’s transition to socialist rule. She studied art at the University of Iowa, which was in the process of becoming a center of education for what were then new fields of art. There she began documenting her performances using her own body on film and video and presenting these as artworks. Following a stay in Mexico, a substitute for her home country of Cuba, during which she developed an interest in ancient civilizations and native cultures and traditions and a stronger awareness of her own ethnic identity, she began work on the “Silueta” series, into which she incorporated icons from these cultures and traditions. Throughout her life from the first half of the 1970s, Mendieta worked actively to intensify these inclinations and make a still greater leap forward, referring to her own activities as “earth-body works.”
    One of the works included in this exhibition, Anima, Silueta Cohetes (Firework Piece), Oaxaca, Mexico, is a video work that shows an effigy representing the artist burning itself out, clearly displaying the hallmarks of Mendieta’s practice.

  • MUKAIYAMA Tomoko + Reinier van BRUMMELEN, GAKA, 2020
    24 min. 5 sec.
    © Tomoko Mukaiyama + Reinier van Brummelen
    Producer: SeriousFilm

    MUKAIYAMA Tomoko + Reinier van BRUMMELEN

    Mukaiyama Tomoko is a pianist /visual artist /director based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In 1991 she was the first Japanese pianist to win the prestigious Dutch Gaudeamus competition and in 1993 won the Japanese Muramatsu Prize awarded to an outstanding musician. In recent years she has developed performing arts projects and installations that push the boundaries of existing art forms. She continues to produce and perform works related to physicality, sexuality, boundaries, memories, rituals, and space-time, all with femininity at their core.
    GAKA (2020), appearing in this exhibition, originated as a performance piece that premiered in 2018 at the Oerol Festival on the Dutch island of Terschelling, followed by staging at the Museum of Art, Kochi, and Kozu Island. Through collaboration with cinematographer by Reiner van Brumelen, this contemporary ritual of music, dance, song and prayer has become an autonomous work on film.

  • Shirin NESHAT, Untitled(Rapture series), 1999
    gelatin silver print
    collection: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © Shirin NESHAT

    Shirin NESHAT

    Born 1957 in Qazvin, Iran. Lives and works in New York, USA. In 1974 Shirin Neshat immigrated to the United States, where went on to study art at university. After graduating, she based herself in New York. In 1990 she returned to Iran for the first time since moving to America. Motivated by what she saw had become of her native land since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, she began creating works with a focus on the circumstances surrounding women there. In 1993 she presented the photographic series “Women of Allah,” dealing with the subject of martyrdom, that depicts women wearing chadors with Farsi text written on the exposed parts of their bodies such as their eyes and the palms of their hands. Since 1996 she has been working in video and film, beginning with the three-part sound and video installations Turbulent (1998), Rapture (1999), and Fervor (2000). In 2009 her Women Without Men was awarded the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
    At this exhibition we present a series of photographs taken as a separate work when Neshat was filming the 1999 video Rapture. The work was inspired by a novel by the Iranian author Monir Ravanipur titled Ahl-i-gharq (The Drowned), an apocalyptic story about a small village.

  • Gerhard RICHTER, Eight Gray, 2001
    grey enamel on glass and steel
    H320×W200×D30cm each (set of 8)
    collection: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © Gerhard RICHTER
    photo: WATANABE Osamu

    Gerhard RICHTER

    Born 1932 in Dresden, Germany. Lives and works in Cologne. Gerhard Richter received his art education under the former East German regime, but was strongly influenced by abstract expressionism, which he encountered during a trip to West Germany, and moved to Düsseldorf six months before the Berlin Wall was erected. In 1962 he unveiled Table, a painting based on a newspaper photograph. Since then the overriding theme of his work has been “Schein” (illusion, appearance, semblance), which he interprets as the foundation reflecting all existence, and he has continually crossed the boundaries between visibility and invisibility, photographs and paintings, reality and fabrication as part of his pursuit of “seeing,” while at the same time applying his masterful painting technique to work in a variety of different styles.
    Eight Grey, shown at this exhibition, is a masterpiece of the artist’s “Mirror Painting” series, which encourages the act of “seeing.” In gazing at these eight giant sheets of glass, into which their own image has been seemingly incorporated, viewers find they are inadvertently gazing also at themselves.

  • Morton FELDMAN

    Born in New York in 1926, passed away in 1987, also in New York. Renowned as the originator of the musical notation known as graphic notation, which replaces staff notation with freestyle diagrams, Feldman ranks alongside John Cage as a leading 20th-century composer of American experimental music, and was also a significant influence on contemporary music in Japan. His close ties with artists not only in the field of music, but also those of literature and visual art, especially his engagement with a number of abstract expressionists, led to Rothko Chapel (1971), one of his best-known compositions.
    Produced in 1971 on commission for the Menil Foundation in Houston, the composition was dedicated to the octagonal meditation room of the same name adorned with fourteen paintings by Mark Rothko. For this exhibition, Feldman’s piece accompanies Gerhard Richter’s Eight Grey from the Museum’s collection to form a profoundly immersive space.

  • Pipilotti RIST, You Renew You, 2004
    collection: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © Pipilotti RIST
    courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
    photo: SAIKI Taku

    Pipilotti RIST

    Born 1962 in Rheintal, Switzerland. Lives and works in Zurich. Pipilotti Rist creates highly individualistic works, drawing on her command of several expressive fields, including graphic design, photography, video and animation, and her experience playing in a rock band. Her work features extreme close-ups of parts of the body, often deliberately at angles producing distortion and discomforting the viewer, or else portrayal of radical or comical behavior, which she fuses with Pop-like flowing, color-infused music and video.
    One of the Museum’s permanent exhibits, You Renew You is installed in the men’s and women’s restrooms in the Museum’s exhibition zone. A place of cleansing that is indispensable to everyone, Rist has likened the bathroom to a sacred space (or sanctuary), installing in it a 30-centimeter square “altar” that may make viewers feel as if they have entered a mysterious world instead of a common, everyday bathroom.

  • TAKEDA Tatsuma, The Eye of a Needle, 2021
    wooden crate, styrene foam and video projection
    dimensions variable
    Artist Collection
    © Tatsuma Takeda

    TAKEDA Tatsuma

    Born 1988 in Amakusa, Kumamoto, Japan. Lives and works in Berlin. Takeda Tatsuma moved to Germany in 2013. He studied under Martin Honert and Carsten Nicolai at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, completing the Academy’s Meisterschule in 2020. Having grown up in Amakusa, one of the regions associated with Japan’s “hidden” Christians, Takeda’s background led to his interest in the movement and changing of religions and faiths and the lives of the people who convey/receive them. Applying an anthropological perspective he explores common languages in today’s diverse world using various media including painting, three-dimensional art and installations while reinterpreting history and the history of art.
    For this exhibition, Takeda has returned to his own roots and created a new work on the theme of the kakure Kirishitan (“hidden” Christian) faith.

  • Boglárka Éva ZELLEI, Seekers, 2018-
    inkjet print
    Artist Collection
    © Boglárka Éva Zellei

    Boglárka Éva ZELLEI

    Born 1993 in Budapest, Hungary, where she continues to lives and work. Boglárka Éva Zellei studied photogrpahy at Hungary’s Kaposvár University, and went on to earn her MA at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest. In her photographic works she explores the transformation of spirituality and religion today. She was a finalist for the New East Photo Prize and awarded the József Pécsi Photography Grant, both in 2018, and in 2020 earned a scholarship from the Hungarian Academy of Arts for 2020–23.
    Seekers, appearing in this exhibition, is a work that explores the relationship between contemporary society and spirituality, by attempting to reflect religious images as they remain in our worldly world today.


Organized by:

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
(Kanazawa Art Promotion and Development Foundation)

Grants from:

Nomura Foundation