Kawamura memorial DIC museum of art



The weather in Tokyo is lovely. Autumn has been gorgeous. During the week, we’ve been working hard on projects indoors, while the skies have been cobalt blue and the sun incredibly bright. However, for some strange, unknown reason, when the weekend arrives, it’s rained almost every time.
Finally, we woke up to a beautiful Autumn morning a few Saturdays ago and drove two hours out of the city to a rural town in Chiba, called Sakura. For a few weeks, we had seen posters in galleries and in the Tokyo Metro advertising Japanese artist Tomoo Gokita’s exhibition entitled “The great circus”. The poster shows one of Gokita’s striking monochromatic paintings of a bust of a woman. She has a 60’s-esque hairstyle and distorted, palette-knife scraped face. Intriguing on so many levels. So we took a little trip to see the exhibition at The Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art.

The museum is hidden from the road and only visible once guests enter the grounds. The architecture of the building – with the beautiful landscaping and large pond, creates an interesting environment that momentarily transports you somewhere that doesn’t quite look or feel like Japan. The lush 30 hectare surroundings with over 500 plants and just as many trees, is filled with birds and insects, and is open to the public free of charge. I think it’s a beautiful place to relax before or after a stroll inside the museum.

The museum has a surprisingly large collection of 20th century art. I remember clearly the beautiful works on display by Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Pollock, and Chagall. However, the most memorable was the exquisitely curated room with seven of Mark Rothko’s paintings from his “Seagram Murals” series. It was just as breathtaking as I remember the Rothko room at Tate Modern. The gallery lights are particularly dim. The walls have become huge expanses of deep red. Koichi is in another gallery. For now, it’s just me – and a museum staff member sitting in the corner. She’s wearing black and sits silently as if in mourning. And we are surrounded by a sea of red. In some of these massive works, Rothko painted a window-frame form in black.
A subliminal hum. I cannot help but think about the way Rothko had committed suicide, found in a pool of his blood, he was wearing only long johns and a pair of black socks.

It feels like an hour has passed. Koichi eventually finds me and we sit for a little while longer, together, in silence.

Did I mention that the museum also holds a few paintings by Magritte in their collection? They do. And they are exquisite.

We end our visit to the museum at the gallery shop and then a peaceful stroll along the nature trail. The sun is out and it’s been a beautiful day. I know we’ll be back.

Kawamura museum of art

Kawamura museum of art

Kawamura museum of art

Kawamura museum of art

Kawamura museum of art

Kawamura museum of art

Kawamura museum of art

Trip information


  • Hi! I’ve always loved your blog, especially your photographs.

    Japan is one of my dream destinations. While that goal of mine is yet to be realized, your blog gives me inspiration and continues to kindle my love for Japan. Please keep up the good work. I look forward to more posts!

Leave a Reply to Elisha Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>