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Interview with Mr. Fumio Nanjo, Director of Mori Art Museum #1


Category: interview

 (Mr. Fumio Nanjo at the office of Mori Art Museum)

Trying To Be Creative

Mori Art Museum, which opened in Roppongi in 2003, sees its 10th anniversary this year. The current director is Mr. Fumio Nanjo, who has worked hard, to open the museum as Deputy Director since 2002. Moreover, an all-night art event held in Roppongi called “Roppongi Art Night” that started in 2009 is to mark the 4th time this yearHe is Chairman of  the executive Committee of this event as well. We had an interview on 10th anniversary commemorative exhibitions at the Mori Art Museum as the main subject with Mr. Nanjo, who is actively involved not only in Japan but outside of Japan such as acting as a member of judging committee of Golden Lion Award in Venice Biennale, as well as artistic director of Singapore Biennale.


Let’s Start Out on an Overnight Trip from Roppongi: Roppongi Art Night 2013

―You brought in a new system of artistic director for the 4th Roppongi Art Night that is to be held on March 23rd and 24th .

Nanjo: Yes, it is the first time that I asked Mr. Katsuhiko Hibino to take on the role. There will be a number of Japanese young curators and artists and almost 200 pieces of artworks will be exhibited in Roppongi, thanks to his great effort. The main project, a stage setting called “Art Fune Project”, is based on “Seiryu-Koyomi-Bune (Clear Stream Calendar Boats)” that Mr. Hibino created with residents of Gifu Prefecture for the ceremony of National Athletic Meet in Gifu; some ten artists such as Muneteru Ujino×Shibusashirazu Orchestra, and Yusuke Asai freely decorate, showcase and perform on special “Art Boats” everywhere in Roppongi.

(Light-up Ceremony on March 21st, sparks of fire fall down in the glass pipe)

―In Roppongi Art Night so far, the opening ceremony at Roppongi Hills Arena has been interesting where they work out a scheme; 7-meter-tall “Giant Torayan” created by Kenji Yanobe emitted a flame, Noboru Tsubaki created a mysterious creature with balloons, and Yayoi Kusama read a poem in front of her own gigantic girl balloon artwork. So we are looking forward to it this year as well.

Nanjo: Mr. Hibino is planning to create a huge glass lighthouse as a project called “TRIP→Project”. There would be a fire on top of it using charcoal made of cedar damaged by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. And sparks of fire fall down in the glass pipe once in a while.


―There is a spirit of going forward, supporting rehabilitation and praying by making a fire as well.

Nanjo: Exactly. Plus, “Rokuhonmoku Yorakue Foodstalls” is also characteristic. About 15 artists such as Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Tatsuo Miyajima, Noboru Tsubaki and Makoto Aida will flock together at various restaurants, cafes and bars in Roppongi to have casual conversations. It is a special attempt that you can talk and listen to them drinking and eating.

There will be more number of artworks, artists and events this year compared to the last year. I am talking big in advance that there will be a million visitors this year, a little more than 700 thousand which was the number of visitors last year, seriously speaking!

→continue to the second part

(Curators and artists at the press preview on March 21st)

Roppongi Art Night 2013

Event theme: TRIP – Witness today’s transformation into tomorrow

Date & Time: 10:00, March 23 (Sat) – 18:00, March 24 (Sun)

Core Time: 17:55, March 23 (Sat) – 5:39, March 24 (Sun) *Core Time is the period of time during which many of the main installations and events will be held.

Venue: the National Art Center Tokyo, Suntory Museum of Art, Tokyo Midtown, 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, Mori Art Museum, Roppongi Hills, Roppongi Shopping Streets, and other collaborating facilities as well as public spaces in the Roppongi area

Admission: Free (Some programs and exhibitions are subject to fees.)


Katsuhiko Hibino

Born in 1958 in Gifu City. He completed Postgraduate Studies at Tokyo University of the Arts. Hibino currently serves as Professor at Tokyo University of the Arts and as a director of Japan Football Association.

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