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Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo

Event Report

No.025
TOLTA, Cube the Positive Curse

Now, it’s time to play, a 2019 exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, features works by six artists that combine to create a fun and exciting experience for adults and children alike. Immerse yourself in art that plays like a game; get lost in a piece designed like a maze. It may just be the curiosity and ideas born from the act of play that delivers the creativity to pull us out of this era.


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2019.10.16

Massive Wall and Maze Appear in Museum

The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo reopened in the spring of 2019. In addition to remodeling the café and restaurant, the renovation outfitted the museum with additional elevators, a baby care room, and a new children’s library. These new facilities have transformed the museum into a comfortable place for people of all walks of life.

The main section of the Now, it’s time to play exhibit is located in the exhibition rooms on the first floor. In the first room, “Examination Wall” by Yoshiaki Kaihatsu is created with stacks of cabinets fixed with colorful grips. On the opposite side of the wall lies a maze featuring difficult exam questions to be answered.

Interaction Creates a Free-Form Exhibit

Kazuhiro Nomura’s “Altar of Laughter” is an interactive work in which visitors try to toss buttons onto a small pedestal. Members of team Hamburg use SNS group chats to create a series of works titled “If past action and credibility is undermined by a single word, doing for others is merely ♾.” In Tanotaiga’s “Tanonymas,” an array of masks based on the artist’s face cover the walls. Viewers of the art unit TOLTA’s “Cube the Positive Curse” create sentences with building blocks inscribed with positive words. Finally, Usio presents “Involuntary Ceremony,” an installation that explores the history of play through 11 works placed along a branching course.

In the rest area on the third floor, visitors can answer questions on the topic of play written on round paper uchiwa fans hanging on the wall or watch videos of interviews with participating artists.

Exploring play, ideas, and fun through artwork, the Now, it’s time to play exhibit has attracted lively crowds throughout summer vacation.

“Examination Wall” by Yoshiaki Kaihatsu. Although the wall stands 5 meters high, visitors may climb only the first row of chests for safety reasons.
“Examination Wall” maze. The maze walls pose difficult exam questions...
Kaihatsu (left) appears sporadically during the exhibition dressed as the “Useless Panda,” playing table tennis with visitors, drawing straws, and signing autographs.
“Altar of Laughter” by Kazuhiro Nomura. As the days pass and players miss the pedestal, buttons pile up on the floor in interesting patterns.
“If past action and credibility is undermined by a single word, doing for others is merely ♾” by team Hamburg. A monitor hooked up to an exercise machine projects red, blue, and green color blocks onto a wall. The work also includes videos and pieces that hijack the museum’s PA system.
The daily workshops to decorate Tanotaiga’s “Tanonymas” masks were extremely popular.
“Involuntary Ceremony” by Usio. Card games, Jenga, and other games placed on platforms dot the space, inviting visitors to relive the history of play.
In the rest area, uchiwa fans hanging on the wall instruct readers to, for example, “Come up with a new game” or “Make a sentence by starting the letters あ/そ/び (play)”

Japanese original text: Emi Sato
Photo: Shu Nakagawa

Now, it’s time to play
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo

Period: July 20 (Saturday) – October 20 (Sunday), 2019
Venue: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo Exhibit Rooms Exhibition Gallery 1F, 3F (Room B)
Address: Miyoshi 4-1-1, Koto-ku, Tokyo (located in Kiba Park)
Tel: 03-5405-8686 (Hello Dial)
https://www.mot-art-museum.jp/en/exhibitions/time-to-play/