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Happiness: A Survival Guide for Art and Life

Adel Abdessemed » Nobuyoshi Araki » Marcel Broodthaers » Tracey Emin » Fischli & Weiss » Gilbert & George » Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster » Dan Graham » Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset » Yasumasa Morimura » Bruce Nauman » Yoko Ono » Leni Riefenstahl » Thomas Ruff » Thomas Struth » Hiroshi Sugimoto » Mette Tronvoll » Bill Viola » Gillian Wearing »

Exhibition: – 18 Jan 2004

Mori Art Museum

6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku
106-6150 Tokyo



Sun-Thu 10-22 . Fri, Sat 10-24

The Mori Art Museum will open on 18 October 2003 on the 52nd and 53rd floors of TokyoÕs Roppongi Hills Mori Tower. The Museum's primary aim is to mediate between contemporary art and as broad a public as possible by illuminating the links between art and life. Its inaugural exhibition will embark on this by casting a fresh eye on the familiar and universal theme of happiness. Happiness is one of the most universal of human emotions; it has found expression in the art of all cultures and ages and has also been depicted in many diverse ways - some works bring a smile to our lips, while others make us think about what it all means. "Happiness: a survival guide for art and life" explores this eternal and elusive theme in Eastern and Western art from ancient times through to the present. It begins with human endeavors - maps of the world - and then moves through four different provinces of happiness - "Arcadia", "Nirvana", "Harmony", and "Desire" - before concluding its journey with paintings of the stars, the infinite, immeasurable spaces of the Universe. Artists represented in the exhibition include Ito Jakuchu, Claude Monet, Paul Céanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, Kusama Yayoi, Yoko Ono, Araki Nobuyoshi, Murakami Takashi and Jeff Koons.* Featuring around 250 works by roughly 180 artists, the work in the exhibition traverses Japanese and Asian Classical art from the 6th Century to the 19th Century, early Western modern art, including Romanticism and Impressionism right up to contemporary art made throughout the world today. A number of new works have been specially commissioned for this exhibition that is one of the largest ever to contain such diverse genres on a single theme. It has been co-curated by Mori Art Museum Director David Elliott, the first non-Japanese museum director in Japan, with Italian guest curator Pier Luigi Tazzi; Yamashita Yuji has advised on aspects of early Japanese art. As well as giving us the opportunity of experiencing first-rate works of art, the exhibition asks some basic questions of us all. What does happiness mean today? How may we enjoy ourselves and achieve happiness in an imperfect world? Art is a reflection of our world, through which we can contemplate what is really important to us. In this way it can help us survive, and if we are lucky, also become happy.