Art is the global language, and this city’s got plenty of it. Here are the best Tokyo winter art exhibitions for 2018-2019.

tokyo winter art exhibitions 2018-2019
The Scream, oil and tempera, 1893 | Photo by Richard Mortel used under CC

From a folk movement recognizing the unknown artist to the birth of Baroque, Tokyo has some fantastic offerings for the art lovers this winter. Discover the influences of Asia and Africa on the French Art Deco movement, catch the highlights of the annual Kyotographie exhibition and even see Munch’s famous work The Scream. While most featured events run over into January, the first ends in December so be sure to catch it before it finishes!


This offshoot event is a great chance to see some of the best works form the annual Kyotographie event held in Japan’s ancient capital. An international photography exhibition, it has been running for six years but this is the first time it has visited Tokyo.

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This year’s theme is Up—a focus on personal impetus and an attempt to move away from the many weights of modern society. The exhibition will be held at different venues including Fujifilm Square, Institut français du Japon, Chanel Nexus House and smaller galleries. Artists to look out for include Jean Paul Goude, Tadashi Ono and Masahisa Fukase.

Where: Various locations
When: Oct 26th – Dec 25th 2018
Access: Various stations
Entry: Free

Exotic x Modern: French Art Deco and Inspiration from Afar

Focusing on the Art Deco movement of inter-war France and its influences from Non-European countries, this is a niche but far-reaching exhibition. A period of discovery, the era included the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb, the Ballet Russe’s appearance and the travels of Josephine Baker. The cultural crossover of different nations thanks to expositions and recorded expeditions was key in forming the designs of the era, all of which are explored in this exhibition. From fashion to interior design, the pieces displayed offer an insight into the adoption of styles, colours and images from further afield and their inclusion in one of the most recognizable styles of the 20th century.

Catastrophe and the Power of Art

Earthquakes, terrorist attacks and financial crises—disasters and catastrophes never fail to provoke unique and compelling responses from artists around the world. Whether they aim to express grief, promote change or just serve as a reminder of the events, all take a personal and subjective take on global events. This striking exhibition ( features a collection of installations, sculptures and images from Japanese and international artists as they offer their take on personal and national catastrophes.

Where: Mori Art Museum
When: Oct 6th 2018 – Jan 20th 2019
Access: Roppongi Station
Entry: ¥1,800 (adults), ¥1,500 (seniors), ¥1,200 (students), ¥600 (JHS students and children)

Munch: A Retrospective

Best known for his piece The Scream, Edvard Munch is one of the great names of art and this touring exhibition is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for art lovers in Tokyo. See 60 oil paintings as well as prints and additional pieces from throughout his career. One of the highlights of the exhibition will be the first Japanese appearance of the tempera and oil version of The Scream (one of several versions) from the Munch Museum Collection. Advance tickets can be purchased online and will knoc off ¥200 on the ticket price (prices below are for on-the-door entry).

Where: Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
When: Oct 27th 2018 – Jan 20th 2019
Access: Tokyo Station
Entry: ¥1,600 (adults), ¥1,300 (students), ¥1,000 (seniors), ¥600 (HS students)

Yoshimuri Yoshio: Beyond Hyper Realism

A growing name in Japanese contemporary art, Yoshimura features precise, detailed recreations of everyday items blended together. From self-portraits on hand-drawn newspapers to beautiful still-life pieces, the range of styles is breathtaking and the detail never fails to impress. Born in Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1950, Yoshimura has a steady growth visible in his work, which this collection captures in their display of over 60 works featuring 600 pieces.

Where: Tokyo Station Gallery
When: Nov 23rd 2018 – Jan 20th 2019
Access: Tokyo Station
Entry: ¥900 (adults)

Mingei: Another Kind of Art

Featuring over 150 items personally selected by 21_21 Design Site director Naoto Fukusawa, the Mingei exhibition ventures into the Japanese folk-craft movement of the 20s and 30s. Handed down from generation to generation, the defining features of Mingei pieces include being inexpensive, handcrafted by anonymous artists and functional. The attraction of these pieces stems from their aged appearance and worn textures, as well as their regional designs. There will be accompanying talks and a Mingei Movement Film Archive held in conjunction with the primary exhibit.

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Where: 21_21 Design Site
When: Nov 2nd 2018 – Feb 24th 2019
Access: Nogizaka Station
Entry: ¥1,100 (adults), ¥800 (students), ¥500 (HS students)

Rubens and the Birth of the Baroque

Pioneering a new style in the 17th century, Rubens (with the help of his studio) was highly influential in introducing the world to the development of the Flemish Baroque movement. This exhibition ( focuses on his relationship with Italy, previously the home of the Renaissance style. There will be a combination of Ruben’s works as well as ancient sculptures and pieces by Italian artists from the era and it will be the largest collection of his works ever exhibited in Japan.

Where: The National Museum of Western Art
When:Oct 16th 2018 – Jan 20th 2019
Access: Ueno Station
Entry: ¥1,600 (adults), ¥1,200 (students), ¥800 (HS Students)

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