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Hara Museum of Contemporary Art_Tokyo

Hara Museum is Japan’s first contemporary art museum, opened in 1979. It is situated within a quiet residential area of Shinagawa, Tokyo. Originally it was a family residence designed by Jin Watanabe in an early Modernist style in 1939. Toshio Hara is the founder of the museum and current chairman of the Foundation Arc-en-Ciel that runs this private museum. In the 1950s and ‘60s, Toshio studied in the US and travelled the world were he met art collectors, artists and other professionals. He also visited many museum spaces, including some private residences that were converted into museums, displaying personal collections. Back in Japan, noticing that there was much opportunity and possibilities for exploring contemporary art, he decided to transform his house in a museum. According to him, the museum's goal "is not merely to show art but to provide a venue for the creation of new values”. Unfortunately, just recently, the museum has announced that this original venue will close by the end of 2020. Although the museum will continue to operate through its other venue in the Gunma Prefecture , at the countryside. The international art world will miss this quite peculiar house-museum that has been a original and audacious showcase for contemporary art for the last 40 years.