In today’s increasingly global world, the intercommunication of people and information gives us the opportunity to learn deeply from the cultures and histories of other places, and to celebrate new, more diverse ways of living. In this environment, there is a growing role for art as a rich source of new value creation, and for its adjoining creative activities.

As a contemporary art museum with a global outlook, the Mori Art Museum is committed to presenting cutting-edge visual arts, architecture, design and other modes of creative practice from around the world, from a unique viewpoint informed by its ongoing dedication to the “contemporary” and “international.” The Museum plays an especially vital role as a center for contemporary art from Japan and the wider Asia-Pacific, by focusing on the art of the region, decoding individual cultural backgrounds and positioning emerging trends within a broader global context.

Last but not least, the Mori Art Museum is committed to the principle of “Art + Life,” encouraging to realize an enriched, vibrant and well-rounded society where art relates to all aspects of life.

Message from the Director

Since opening in 2003, the Mori Art Museum has always been the symbol of Roppongi Hills positioned itself as “Cultural Heart of a City” – Japanese capital city of Tokyo. It could thus be described as quite unique among private art museums, having being founded to serve as part of a new community. It follows that the Museum’s activities should not be confined to its own spaces, but penetrate deep into that same community, reaching the people who live, work, and visit there.

The myriad exhibitions and learning programs of the Mori Art Museum revolve around experiences, and the telling of stories. By providing real experiences to stimulate the senses in the physical spaces of the art museum and local community, and encourage greater understanding of art, including the background stories and context of individual works, we deliver contemporary art created by artists of our time to a wider audience.

The reality is that today’s world comprises a complex tangle of challenges that include differing political, social, economic and cultural values and views of history, and the abrupt climate change. Contemporary art is a microcosm of this, meaning that an inclusive approach, respectful of diverse values, ideas and identities is becoming increasingly important. The Mori Art Museum is also a place for encounters with unknown worlds, and we hope, a place where people can empathize with and celebrate such differences.

As a member of the international modern and contemporary art museum community, and especially as a leading institution of the Asia-Pacific region, the Mori Art Museum shall also continue to build partnerships with museums, biennials, and academic institutions around the globe, contributing to the vitality and growth of the contemporary art world as a whole. By understanding more about our world through contemporary art, we are confident of our ability to contribute to building a better future where diverse ideas and ways of thinking can coexist.

Kataoka Mami
Director, Mori Art Museum

January 2020

Kataoka Mami
Director of the Mori Art Museum

Born 1965 in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Kataoka was Chief Curator at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery (1997-2002) prior to the Mori Art Museum (2003-) where she assumed the office of Director on January 1, 2020. Kataoka was also International Curator at the Hayward Gallery, London (2007-2009); Co-Artistic Director for the 9th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2012); and Artistic Director of the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018). She has been serving as a Board Member of CIMAM [International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art] (2014-) and was appointed the President of CIMAM 2020-2022. Visiting Professor at Kyoto University of the Arts Graduate School; Visiting Professor at Tokyo University of the Arts’ Faculty of Fine Arts, Graduate School of Fine Arts; Chair of Contemporary Art Committee Japan, Art Platform Japan [Initiative by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan]; and Member of AICA [International Association of Art Critics], Kataoka frequently writes, lectures, and juries on contemporary art from Japan, Asia and beyond.

Kataoka Mami
Photo: Ito Akinori