MAM Collection 007: Invisible Cities

2018.4.25 [Wed] - 9.17 [Mon]

Participating Artists

Lee Bul, Jagannath Panda, Kurokawa Kisho

The title for this exhibition “Invisible Cities” takes its name from the novel by Italian writer Italo Calvino. In Calvino’s fictional account, Marco Polo - describes to Mongol emperor and Yuan Dynasty founder Kublai Khan the many amazing cities encountered on his journeys.

People have always harbored dreams of ideal societies and urban settlements, and architecture and cities are perhaps tangible manifestations of one part of those “invisible” dreams. Yet the buildings and cities that actually come to fruition do so with the potential to be destroyed by disaster, or to age and fall into ruin, over time leaving only their remains. Utopian architecture and cities likely remain Utopian for the very reason that they never become reality. In today’s world where the internet has become a norm, architecture and cities are also starting to proliferate in network form by transcending physical space, said to have become what cannot be explained by conventional concepts.

Lee Bul’s Aubade, resembling a piece of Utopian architecture echoing the Russian avant-garde, but with Esperanto glowing in neon; Jagannath Panda’s The Epic III, which appears to show the city as a new species of organism in which high-rise, hi-tech architecture merges with myth, flora and fauna amid a world of galloping globalization; and Kurokawa Kisho’s fleeting Metabolist Yamagata Hawaii Dreamland destined to be demolished after less than five years; all three works showcased at this exhibition are sure to prompt contemplation on the place of architecture, and cities, in tracing human ideals and dreams.


Lee Bul Aubade
Lee Bul
Aluminum structure, LED light, electrical wiring, crystal and glass beads
Installation view: “MAM Collection 007: Invisible Cities,” Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2018
Photo: Koroda Takeru
Jagannath Panda The Epic III
Jagannath Panda
The Epic III
Acrylic, fabric and glue on canvas
229 x 396 cm
Kurokawa Kisho Yamagata Hawaii Dreamland
Kurokawa Kisho
Yamagata Hawaii Dreamland
Floor Plan Detail of Bathing Area 1:100
c. 1966
Pencil on tracing paper
55 x 80 cm
General Information
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Notice Regarding Photography in the Galleries

At the exhibition “MAM Collection 007: Invisible Cities,” you may take photographs under the following conditions.

When taking photographs:

  • Do NOT touch the artworks.
  • Do NOT interfere with other visitors’ enjoyment of the museum.
  • Do NOT use flash lighting.
  • Do NOT use tripods and selfie sticks.
  • Do NOT film the artworks.

When using photographs taken of the exhibition:

  • Photographs may be used for non-commercial purposes only. Photographs may NOT be used for commercial purposes.
  • Photographs may NOT be altered in any ways.
  • The conditions above are licensed under the Creative Commons License. When uploading photographs for blogs or any other photo-sharing services, please make sure to display the photograph along with such credits as below.


Artist’s name and work title: Jagannath Panda The Epic III
This photograph is licensed under “Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivative Works 2.1 Japan”

* For details about the Creative Commons License and marks, please see the Creative Commons Japan website: http://creativecommons.jp
* If photographs that include other museum visitors are made public, they may infringe on that person’s right of portrait.

About “MAM Collection”

The collection of Mori Art Museum which focuses on contemporary art from Japan and elsewhere in Asia currently comprises approximately 400 works. The “MAM Collection” is the series of diverse, theme-based exhibitions to showcase the collection.
Enjoying contemporary art in a living space-like environment and a dynamic view - this program embodies the Mori Art Museum’s motto of “Art + Life.”

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