Yasumasa Morimura: Ego Obscura, Tokyo 2020

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo)



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poster for Yasumasa Morimura: Ego Obscura, Tokyo 2020

Ends in 64 days

*In response to recent developments pertaining to the COVID-19 coronavirus and in line with policy recommendations issued by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Hara Museum has taken the decision to implement another temporary closure starting from Saturday, March 28, 2020.

Yasumasa Morimura has been acclaimed for his self-portraits in which he re-enacts famous paintings, movies, and moments in history. By incarnating himself through the skillful use of makeup and costume, he transcends the time, race, and gender of the subject to imbue it with a meta-commentary uniquely his own.

His video work entitled Ego Obscura, together with a lecture-performance written and performed by Morimura himself, comprises the centerpieces of an exhibition in which the artist references Japan’s modern history and world culture. Morimura was born in Osaka in 1951 during the post-war occupation by the Allied Forces and educated at a time when the country’s pre-war teachings had been rejected and the resulting “void” infiltrated by Western values. This experience led him to see truth, values, and ideas as things that “reside outside the body,” which like clothes could be “freely changed” at will (quotes from Ego Obscura).

In the exhibition title Ego Obscura, Morimura uses an unfamiliar word to refer to what he describes as “an ambiguous ego wrapped in darkness.” He explores this ego through self-portraits imbued with complex feelings towards a motherland that go beyond mere affection, works that direct the question “what is the meaning of the ‘self’?” not only at us but at the nation of Japan itself as well.


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from January 25, 2020 to June 07, 2020
Open 2/24 (Mon). Closed 2/25 (Tue) and 4/14(Tue).


Adults ¥1100, University and High School Students ¥700, Junior High and Elementary School Students ¥500.

Venue Hours

From 11:00 To 17:00
wednesdays closing at 20:00
Closed on Mondays
Note:On a Public Holiday Monday, the museum is open but closed on the following Tuesday.On a Public Holiday Wednesday, the museum closes at 17:00.


Address: 4-7-25 Kita-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 140-0001
Phone: 03-3445-0651

5 minutes by taxi or 15 minutes on foot from JR Shinagawa station (Takanawa Exit); or from the same station, take the TAN No. 96 bus for Gotanda Station, get off at the first stop (Gotenyama), and walk for 3 minutes. Limited parking.

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