Member's Event

MAMC Night MAMC Members' Gathering

Everyone listens to Mami Kataoka's talk and look at Yoshioka Tokujin's "SNOW."
Photo: Mikuriya Shinichiro

Guests walk around "wald aus wald (Forest from Forest)" in a half-crouching position.
Photo: Mikuriya Shinichiro

Event Report
Members Only MAMC Night: “Behind the Scenes at ‘Sensing Nature’ ”

MAMC Nights give members a perspective on the Mori Art Museum exhibitions that is slightly different to that offered to the public. The MAMC Night for “Sensing Nature” was held on Tuesday, August 17, and it consisted of two parts: a gallery talk and a slideshow that revealed various aspects of the process by which the exhibition was put together. What follows is a digest of the evening’s proceedings.

[Some Points About Enjoying the Exhibition]

The first part of the MAMC Night was a gallery talk in which exhibition curator Kataoka Mami gave explanations of the artworks on display.

The first work that greets visitors at the entrance to the exhibition is Yoshioka Tokujin’s Snow. It consists of a giant enclosed box (w=14m, h=6m, d=5m) filled with feathers, which float gracefully down like snowflakes.

The feathers are of the highest quality and have been imported from Denmark. A huge volume of feathers was needed to realize the work, and it wouldn't have been possible without the assistance of the well known futon-maker Nishikawa Sangyo.

In the middle of the exhibition is Shinoda Taro’s Ginga, which consists of a round pool filled with white-colored liquid. Attached to the ceiling above the pool are about 50 PET bottles, and at intervals a single drop is released from each bottle. As the drops hit the surface of the pool, they trace various constellations visible in the Tokyo summer sky, such as Orion and the Big Dipper. The light emanating from each star is expressed in ripples emanating from the point where each drop hits the surface. Because the ripples disappear so quickly, you can miss them with just one blink.

Kataoka revealed three points to keep in mind while viewing Ginga. The first was that “If you look at the positions of the bottles on the ceiling then it is easier to guess which constellation is being made.” The second was that “It’s easier to see the ripples that are further away from you rather than those that are close.” The third secret way to look at Ginga was a way to anticipate when the drops are about to fall. We will keep this one a secret for the members who came on the night, but a hint is that you should make yourself a little more attuned to your senses than usual. Come and try it out for yourself.

[Welcome, Special Guest Kuribayashi Takashi!]

The second part of the MAMC Night consisted of a slideshow that revealed the process by which each artist created their artworks for the exhibition. At first, Kataoka showed photographs of and discussed how the works by Yoshioka Tokujin and Shinoda Taro were made. Then, she was joined by special guest Kuribayashi Takashi and together they talked about how his works were made.

As the photographs revealed how Wald aus Wald (Forest from Forest) was assembled in the gallery, Kataoka commented to Kuribayashi, “Getting to this stage was the tough part, wasn’t it?” She explained, laughing, that, “I was really a bit worried - not to have a sense of whether it was all going to come together. I even went to his studio in Zushi and tried to put pressure on him by asking how much he’d done so far.”

Kuribayashi laughed as he recalled his thoughts at the time. “Of course, you have to decide certain things in order to get a general idea of what will happen and to make drawings, but, with this work, because it was completely new and because I wasn’t exactly sure what we’d be able to do in the gallery, there was a time when we didn’t make too much progress. When Kataoka-san came to the studio in February (six months prior to the opening of the exhibition) we hadn’t done much at all. I thought I’d distract her by suggesting that we should all have a drink, but then she said that she had driven down to Zushi so she couldn’t drink alcohol.”

Kuribayashi had his sights set on making a huge, new installation, while Kataoka was keen to provide her artist with a commensurate space in the gallery. What other challenges did these two have to overcome before the exhibition could open? You can read more about their talk and also view scenes from the slideshow on the Mori Art Museum Official Blog (in Japanese only), so be sure to check it out!

Members examine the red liquid of "Model of Oblivion."
Photo: Mikuriya Shinichiro

Kataoka and guest Kuribayashi talk about the many happenings that occurred during the exhibition set up.
Photo: Mikuriya Shinichiro


Shinoda Taro talks about his outlook on the universe.
Photo: Mikuriya Shinichiro

Everyone listens carefully to Shinoda.
Photo: Mikuriya Shinichiro

Report on the Members' Gathering
An evening of discussion with an artist
A double taste of "Sensing Nature," with a special talk between Shinoda Taro and Kataoka Mami

The Members' Gathering, a special event for the members of the Mori Art Museum's MAMC membership program was held on the evening of August 25 at the Roppongi Hills Club. With a special talk given by exhibition artist Shinoda Taro and museum chief curator Katoaka Mami, visitors enjoyed a lively summer evening of discussion and exchange.

The venue was the Roppongi Hills Club - the Star Bar, to be precise - and stars were twinkling on the ceiling. The similarity with Shinoda's artwork, Ginga (milky way) did not go unnoticed by the members. Appropriate to a Roppongi evening, the many members who attended came dressed up in fashion that might be described as "casual chic." Some had come with their partners, their families or friends. Some had got a group of friends together especially for the occasion. Some were experiencing their first MAMC event, while others could be seen greeting friends made at previous events. With drinks in hand, they stood here and there, chatting amiably.

Museum director Nanjo Fumio kicked off proceedings with a short greeting. “This evening, be sure to say hello to people who you don't know, and try to get to know them. The talk by Shinoda should provide lots of topics for discussion. Enjoy yourselves!”

Next was a toast by the museum chairperson, Mori Yoshiko. “It would be wonderful if you could all use this opportunity to share information about art events and happenings with each other. We hope this becomes a catalyst for you all to attend even more art events and to gradually get know each other as a kind of community of art fans.”

And as soon as the greetings were concluded, sure enough, little sparks of conversation flared up throughout the venue

Several well-known art world personalities were in attendance as special guests - editor, creative director and Kyoto University of Art and Design professor Goto Shigeo and collector Miyatsu Daisuke - and rings of conversation quickly formed around each of them.

In between conversations, the members enjoyed the buffet, which offered a wide variety of mostly Italian cuisine.

Soon enough, Shinoda and Kataoka's talk began. Having originally studied gardening and having worked as a gardener himself, Shinoda expounded on his own philosophy of a cycle existing between the body (microcosmos) and the universe (macrocosmos) and how he goes about making artworks that reflect such thoughts. Showing slides covering his early works right up to his latest creations, Shinoda shared jokes as he gave a talk that seemed to reverberate with everyone present. His relaxed discussion with Kataoka, who has followed his career since its very beginnings, covered each of their interpretations of the meaning of a "sense of nature," and much more.

After the talk, one of the members struck up a conversation with Shinoda. “I came from Kobe for the gathering tonight and it was wonderful. I had never had the chance to see your work in the Kansai region.” Shinoda smiled in response: “This is the first time I've showed my work in Japan in five years. It's the first time in six years to show it in Tokyo. I've only been showing overseas for the last few years, so it's really pleasing to hear that you have followed my work from Japan.”

Shinoda and Kataoka were soon surrounded by groups of members, who all gave their impressions of the talk and of the exhibition in the light of the evening's discoveries.

Special guest Goto Shigeo commented that, “I really hope that more of these kinds of events can be held. In the past there were tea ceremonies, and an important part of those was the idea that the participants would exchange their opinions about the tea ceremony utensils being used or the scroll or flowers that were always on display. I think it would be good if art museums could be seen as the successors of that kind of social and cultural interaction.”
He also said, “It would be good not just to have occasions where members can look at the art and talk about it, but instead to create a community that will really support art. Members could invest in a particular art project and even contribute to an artist's realization of it. They could be given the chance to share the dream. That would be fantastic.”

The museum general manager, Takahashi Shinya, brought the evening to a conclusion by making some remarks. Several members disappeared back into the galleries to take advantage of the last few minutes before closing time. Evidently the evening had inspired in them - and undoubtedly everyone else, too - a genuine reawakening in their "sense of nature."

To read more of the talk between Shinoda and Kataoka, be sure to check out the Museum Blog.

Text by Kojima Yayoi (Freelance curator, writer)

Mami Kataoka, Chief Curator, moderates the talk and brings out Shinoda.
Photo: Mikuriya Shinichiro

Shinoda winds down with guests.
Photo: Mikuriya Shinichiro


MAMC Night
"Roppongi Crossing 2010"

"MAMC Night" - "Gallery Talk" and "Special Slideshow" for members.

* This event is open to all MAMC members

"MAMC Night" is an exclusive members' event held once during each exhibition on a Tuesday after the Museum closes. Different from events open to the general public, this event offers explanation of the exhibition, and a variety of contents related to the exhibition.

"MAMC Night" for "Sensing Nature" will include a "Slide Talk" with explanation of the exhibition and a slideshow to introduce various episodes leading up to the exhibition.

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, 17 August 2010; 19:00-22:00 (Admission starts at 18:45)
* Last admission at 21:30
VENUE: Mori Art Museum (Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 53F)
ATTENDANCE:   Open to all MAMC Individual members
Benefactor: up to 2 guests
Fellow: up to 1 guest
Friend: members only
ADMISSION: Free for all participants

Members and their guests must enter at the same time.

[Gallery Talk] * Japanese-English simultaneous interpretation

GUIDE: Kataoka Mami (Chief Curator, Mori Art Museum)
TIME: 19:00- (approximately 45 minutes)
* For those who wish to join the tour, please gather at the entrance hall on Mori Tower 53F five minutes prior to the announced starting time. Advance reservations are not necessary.

[Special Slideshow] * Japanese-English simultaneous interpretation

In this exhibition, three artists each made a large-scale installation which represents their perception of nature. The slideshow will include images of their working spaces and their artworks in preparation.
This will be a rare chance to take a glance at the other side of the exhibition.

GUEST: Kuribayashi Takashi (Artist)
GUIDE: Kataoka Mami (Chief Curator, Mori Art Museum)
TIME: 20:00- (approximately 45 minutes)
* For those who wish to join the tour, please gather at the gallery 1 on Mori Tower 53F five minutes prior to the announced starting time. Advance reservations are not necessary.

MAMC Night
"Roppongi Crossing 2010"


Image Photo

"MAMC Members' Gathering" - An evening with the artist, Shinoda Taro

* Please note that this event for MAMC Benefactor & Fellow membersand their guests.

The yearly early summer event "MAMC Lunch" will be replaced by a dinner & cocktail event "MAMC Members' Gathering" this time. At the event, we will welcome Shinoda Taro, one of the artists of "Sensing Nature" to share with the members his unique perception of life and cosmology. Director of the Mori Art Museum Nanjo Fumio, Chief Curator Kataoka Mami will host the event.
The small party is designed to create a home-like atmosphere for members to enjoy the food, the drinks, and of course, the discussion! An event where members, artists, curator, everybody is the leading role! Please join!

DATE & TIME: Wednesday, 25 August, 2010 / 19:00-21:00 (Admission starts at 18:45)
VENUE: Bar "the study", Roppongihills Club (Mori Tower 51F)
ATTENDANCE:   MAMC Benefactor & Fellow members
* Each member may bring up to two guests.
PARTY STYLE: Casual cocktail party
CHARGE: ¥6,000 per a person *Tax included.
* Please pay by cash or credit card at the registration on the day.
CAPACITY: 20 (Bookings required)
* Please note that registration will close once we reach 20 entries.

*Any members requiring Japanese-to-English interpretation should inform the museum staff. An interpreter will accompany you to the party.

*The following dress code will apply when visiting Roppongi Hills Club. Please note that you will not be allowed to use the Club if you fail to observe the code.

[Roppongi Hills Club Dress Code]
A smart casual dress code applies. Please wear clothes that are suitable to the Club. Members' guests need to be advised in advance accordingly.
• If wearing T-shirt or collarless shirts, then a jacket should be worn.
• Women are asked to dress accordingly in attire that is non-provocative to gentlemen.
The following items will not be allowed at any time:
Exercise wear, yukata (a light summer kimono), short pants including Bermuda shorts and other similar clothes, fashion jeans with holes, beach sandals including "crocs", "Geta", "Setta", backpacks, and hats.



Bron 1964. Shinoda Taro originally studied Japanese landscape gardening, adn for years he has been working on the theme of the "connection between man and nature," directing his attention at everything from the human spirit to the universe at large. In recent years, Shinoda is concerned with human beings and their connections with their contemporary living environments, which are the sum products of urban landscapes, convenience and technological developments. He is interested in the "process by which our lives, society and cluture tend to make nature into an entirely abstract concept." Shinoda will present 3 works which include his video trilogy. Shinoda has held solo exhibitions at REDCAT (Los Angeles), Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art and elsewhere, and he has also participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the Busan Biennale (2006) and Istanbul Biennale (2007).

<Event report>
Please note that reports on MAMC events, which may include photographs taken at the events, will appear from time to time on the Mori Art Museum website. Any MAMC member who finds on our website a photograph taken at a MAMC event in which they are visible, and which they would prefer we did not use, should contact us. We will remove the photograph immediately.