Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art is housed in one of Hiroshima’s nicest buildings, located in the pleasant Hijiyama hilltop park which offers good views over the city. Interesting sculptures and statues are dotted around the outside of the museum that can be viewed without paying entry. Inside there are two main galleries, one for special exhibits and the other displays items from the museum’s own collection, displayed on rotation along various themes.
The museum seeks collections from around the world which represent trends in modern art since WWII, express a relationship with Hiroshima and promote excellent young artists.
When it opened in 1989, the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art was the first public art museum in Japan devoted exclusively to contemporary art.
The museum has a large collection of painting, photography, video, sculptural and installation works by both established and emerging Japanese artists, displayed on rotation in seasonal exhibitions organized around various themes. There are also special exhibitions of works of major international and domestic artists throughout the year that, depending on your viewpoint, range from the frivolous to the sublime.
Every three years there is an exhibition of work by the recipient of the Hiroshima Art Prize, established by the City of Hiroshima, which recognizes the achievements of artists who have contributed to the peace of humanity in the field of contemporary art, and through contemporary art aim to appeal to the wider world and the spread the “Spirit of Hiroshima”. Recipients of the award include Yoko Ono, Cai Guo-Qiang, Shirin Neshat, Daniel Libeskind, and Issey Miyake.
The building itself, designed by Kisho Kurokawa, who studied under Kenzo Tange and was one of the leaders of the Metabolist Movement in the 1960s, is one of which local people are quite proud. The design incorporates classical colonnades, an ancient Greek agora meeting space and a Japanese storehouse (kura), and as the museum website describes it, “the building rises from its foundations the natural fabric of stone gives way to man-made tiles and aluminium, reflecting the development of civilization from the past to the future along the stream of time.”
While the architectural motifs are quite clear when the museum is viewed from the air, its hilltop location makes it difficult to get a complete view of the building when right next to it. However, it is the way that the museum incorporates the surrounding park that makes this such a recommendable place to visit. There are 17 sculptures dotted around the outside of the building around which you can wander free of charge; including Henry Moore’s bronze “Arch” that frames an excellent view out over the city.
Hijiyama Park is a particularly pretty during the cherry blossom season, when hundreds of people picnic under the cherry trees alongside the winding park trails. There is a cafe, named “Arch” after the nearby Henry Moore sculpture, next to the entrance. The museum shop is also not a bad place to pick up some interesting souvenirs or gifts for art lovers.
Click here for details of current and upcoming exhibitions.
Opening hours: 10:00-17:00 (last admission 16:30) Open until 19:00 from April 1-4, May 3 and November 3
Mondays (unless Monday is a national holiday, in which case
the museum will be closed on the next ordinary day.)
December 27 – January 1 and January 4
Adults: ¥360 (¥280)
College Students: ¥270 (¥210)
High School Students: ¥170 (¥130)
Prices in ( ) rate for groups over 30 Persons
Free admission to elementary and junior high school students, seniors over 65 years old (ID required) and foreign students (student ID required)
Admission to Special Exhibitions varies in price and includes access to the permanent collection.
Free Admission Days:
Culture Day (November 3): Regular and special exhibitions
Children’s Day (May 5): Regular and special exhibitions (under 18s)
There are baby changing facilities in the womens toilet and the whole facility is wheelchair and baby stroller accessible. All art has at least the name of the artists and title displayed in English although not all exhibitions have all the details translated, there is usually a basic extra explanation in English available from the information desk.
Address: 1-1 Hijiyama Koen, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 732-0815
By streetcar from Hiroshima Station Line 5, get off at “Hijiyama-shita” Streetcar Stop. There is also access by “SkyWalk” from next to the SATY deparment store in Danbara (on the other side of the tunnel from the city center)
View Hiroshima City Museum of Contemorary Art in a larger map