Arts and Entertainment Events and Exhibitions

Exhibition Exploring the DNA of Japanese Contemporary Art through One of Japan’s Foremost Art Collections, at WHAT MUSEUM, Tokyo

(Tokyo, Japan) WHAT MUSEUM, located in Tennoz, Tokyo, is currently hosting an exhibition titled “ART de Cha Cha Cha − Exploring the DNA of Japanese Contemporary Art −” from the Takahashi Ryutaro Collection, until August 27th (Sun), 2023.

WHAT MUSEUM is one of the art facilities operated by the Japanese company Warehouse TERRADA. The company has many years of involvement in the art storage business, and has been entrusted with numerous precious artworks by both artists and collectors. From there, in December 2020, Warehouse TERRADA opened the collectors’ museum of contemporary art WHAT MUSEUM, springing from the concept of opening up the storage facilities and giving the public a glimpse of artworks that they would usually not be able to see. One of the current exhibitions features forty works of art by thirty-three different artists from the Takahashi Ryutaro Collection—an indispensable collection of the Japanese contemporary art scene since the 1990s—and explores the DNA of Japanese contemporary art, as well as the magnetic appeal of that DNA.

The Takahashi Ryutaro Collection is a contemporary art collection started in earnest in 1997 by psychiatrist Ryutaro Takahashi, one of Japan’s foremost art collectors, who currently owns over 3000 pieces, and offers a comprehensive view of the diversity of Japanese contemporary art.

On show from the collection are pieces by artists, including Keizaburo Okamura, Tomoko Konoike, Kishio Suga, Akira Yamaguchi and Tadanori Yokoo, who embrace the culture, art and values established throughout Japan’s long history, reinterpret them from their unique perspectives and express them in new forms and with new methods.

Japanese culture and art have evolved while changing with the times by flexibly taking in and interpreting a wide variety of foreign cultures. By the works on display in this exhibition, the exhibition explores what contemporary artists have found in traditional Japanese culture and art, and how they have applied it to their own creative expression.

Through this exhibition, WHAT MUSEUM endeavors to have visitors explore the DNA of Japanese contemporary art and discover its appeal in new ways, and support the contemporary art of Japan in the future.


Works of art emerging in light and shade

Impressive large-scale works by Keizaburo Okamura and works by Hiroshi Sugimoto, Yu-ichi Inoue, Kazumi Kurigami resonate with each other, creating a special exhibition space where the works emerge in light and shade.

Uniquely Japanese pieces focusing on techniques, materials, and motifs

The exhibition features works by Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Tomoko Konoike, Hisashi Tenmyouya, Akira Yamaguchi, Tadanori Yokoo and others who incorporate traditional techniques, materials and motifs unique to Japan into their varied forms of expression.

Transcendental contemporary works of art utilizing exquisite techniques

The exhibition features various two-dimensional and three-dimensional works created with extraordinary technique, including large plates by Masayasu Mitsuke, ink (suiboku) paintings by Hidenori Yamaguchi, and sculptures by Yoshihiro Suda and Masaya Hashimoto.

Mono-ha artworks — An essential art movement of Japanese contemporary art scene

The exhibition features pieces by multiple artists representative of the Japanese Mono-ha art movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, including Koji Enokura, Kishio Suga, Nobuo Sekine, Lee Ufan.

Approximately 20 works will be exhibited for the first time as part of the Takahashi Ryutaro Collection

Many pieces will be on show for the first time, including an installation by Kasetsu, a video installation by Tabaimo and a sculpture by Motohiko Odani.

Photos of the exhibition venue

The following credit is required for the six photos the above.

WHAT MUSEUM Exhibition View / “ART de Cha Cha Cha − Exploring the DNA of Japanese Contemporary Art −” from the Takahashi Ryutaro Collection / Photo by Keizo KIOKU

A single photo of an installation work (The following photo credit is required)

Kasetsu “tree” 2021 ©kasetsu Photo by Keizo KIOKU

[Exhibited artists : (in alphabetical order by surname)

Satoru Aoyama, Koji Enokura, Masaya Hashimoto, Koji Hatakeyama, Yu-ichi Inoue, Takahiro Iwasaki, Tomiyuki Kaneko, Kasetsu, Tomoko Konoike, Mikiko Kumazawa, Kazumi Kurigami, Takuro Kuwata, Lee Ufan, Kumi Machida, Erina Matsui, Masayasu Mitsuke, Yasumasa Morimura, Goro Murayama, Motohiko Odani, Keizaburo Okamura, Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Nahoko Sashida, Nobuo Sekine, Yoshihiro Suda, Kishio Suga, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Tabaimo, Hiroki Tashiro, Hisashi Tenmyouya, Ai Yamaguchi, Akira Yamaguchi, Hidenori Yamaguchi, and Tadanori Yokoo

[Overview of the Exhibition]

Title: “ART de Cha Cha Cha − Exploring the DNA of Japanese Contemporary Art −” from the Takahashi Ryutaro Collection

Dates: April 28th (Fri) – August 27th (Sun), 2023

Venue: WHAT MUSEUM (Warehouse TERRADA G Building 2-6-10 Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo)

Open Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Admission until 5:00 PM), closed on Mondays (but open when Monday is a public holiday, then closed the following Tuesday)

Admission: Adults 1,500 yen / University or vocational college students 800 yen / Free entry for students under high school age

*Includes admission to the other exhibition held concurrently

Organizing and planning: WHAT MUSEUM

Planned in cooperation with: Takahashi Ryutaro Collection

Graphics: ujidesign


[Concurrent Exhibition: Open Creation of Art “Immerse yourself in the transitory nature” by Masayoshi NOJO]

WHAT MUSEUM is hosting Open Creation of Art, another exhibition held at the same time as “ART de Cha Cha Cha − Exploring the DNA of Japanese Contemporary Art −” from the Takahashi Ryutaro Collection. The Open Creation of Art is a new project that invites artists to develop new works in a gallery setting, which functions as an open studio and displays their recent pieces.

As the first exhibition of this new project, we welcome Masayoshi Nojo, who draws inspiration from natural phenomena and attempts to create a variety of visual experiences by incorporating serendipitous and phenomenological elements into his work.

WHAT MUSEUM wishes to offer visitors insight into the artist’s process, as well as opportunities to engage with him directly to gain a deeper understanding of his works. The pieces created during this exhibition will be available for purchase.

[About the Takahashi Ryutaro Collection]

The Takahashi Ryutaro Collection is a contemporary art collection that started in earnest by psychiatrist, Ryutaro Takahashi in 1997. Starting from Yayoi Kusama and Sawako Goda, the collection focuses on contemporary Japanese art, and consists of many early and representative works by artists such as Yoshitomo Nara, Takashi Murakami, Kenji Yanobe, Tomoko Konoike, Makoto Aida, Akira Yamaguchi, Kohei Nawa, Izumi Kato, Aiko Miyanaga, and Manabu Ikeda who are today highly acclaimed figures within the international art scene. Since 2008, collection exhibitions have been held in 23 public and private art museums across the world.

In 2020, Ryutaro Takahashi received the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Award for his great contribution to the promotion and popularization of contemporary art. The collection currently continues to be in progression, with Ryutaro Takahashi actively engaging in discovering new artists, in addition to his on-going efforts towards the reassessment of artworks.


WHAT MUSEUM opened in Tennoz, Tokyo in December 2020. It is a facility to make artists’ and collectors’ precious art properties that have been entrusted to us accessible to the public. We have used our unique insight as a warehousing company to explore the concept of what an art facility should be. The result is to open up the warehouse to offer the public a look at art that they would not ordinarily have the opportunity to see. The museum exhibits works by artists active in the contemporary art scene side-by-side with the thoughts of the collectors as well as the artists, offering an innovative space for the appreciation of art.

The name of WHAT (WAREHOUSE OF ART TERRADA) implies the cultural value which is gleaming quietly in the warehouse, and the museum exhibits two- and three-dimensional works as well as architectural models, photographs, movies, literature and installations. We plan and exhibit these diversified arts and cultures in our individual style of museum as a warehouse company in new and unique approaches.

WHAT MUSEUM also has exclusive interviews with our exhibiting artists, which are released on the museum’s official YouTube channel. They can be appreciated as archives of successive exhibitions, and viewers can enjoy the special opportunity to hear the artists themselves talk about their works and creations.

WHAT MUSEUM Official YouTube:

[About Warehouse TERRADA]

Established in 1950 and located in Tennoz, Tokyo, Warehouse TERRADA has since expanded into a wide range of fields, with a primary focus on the storage of artworks, which launched in 1975, as well as artwork restoration, transportation, and exhibitions. In 2014, we began operating a bonded warehouse for artworks. We established a new bonded warehouse in the spring of 2022, which we opened as a permanent bonded gallery venue that allows for viewings, storage and more under bonded conditions. We offer foreign and domestic art collectors opportunities to purchase artworks and give overseas galleries a chance to expand their presence in Japan. We also operate art studios that are available for rent as well as hosting the ART AWARD, supporting younger artists. These initiatives earned us the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award in 2018. In recent years, Warehouse TERRADA has opened several facilities that promote art and culture, including the collectors’ museum of contemporary art “WHAT MUSEUM”, art gallery cafe “WHAT CAFE”, art materials lab “PIGMENT TOKYO” and TERRADA ART COMPLEX, one of Japan’s largest gallery complexes. Through these broad-ranging art industry operations, and as a leading company in the Japanese art world, we provide services that will play a role in revitalizing its art market and develop Tennoz, Tokyo, as a hub of art together with other cities around the world.

Company name: Warehouse TERRADA

Representative: President & CEO, Kohei Terada

Address: 2-6-10 Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo

Foundation: October 1950



Inquiries for the Exhibition and the facility