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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Fukuoka Asian Art Museum

福岡アジア美術館

Located closer to Busan than Tokyo, Fukuoka has long had stronger ties with the Asian continent than other parts of Japan. From Korean potters—often forcibly brought to Japan—and Chinese leaders in the past to Korean and Chinese tourists today, Asian influence has been and remains very palpable in Kyushu’s largest city.

fukuoka-faamOne example is the The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (FAAM). It bills itself as “the only museum in the world that systematically collects and exhibits Asian modern and contemporary art. The works in the collection of the museum are not imitation of Western art or repetitions of traditional works.” And it more than lives up to this billing.

The Museum is located in the center of town on the 7th and 8th floors of the Riverain building. It is three-minute walk from Nakasu-Kawabata Station or a 15-minute walk from Canal City.

On the day we visited, an exhibit entitled “Asia in Love” was in its final days.

Among the paintings and works, those by Chinese were the most impressive. A giant work in oil of a family resting on a mountain side on the way to a funeral, a coffin with ropes for carrying off to the side, was stunning. Works by Indian painters brought to mind Bollywood in their use of color and energy.

FAAM is not just fine arts though; it also exhibits crafts. In the lobby were wonderful rattan chairs from the Philippines; in a separate exhibit were furoshiki (cloth made for wrapping and carrying items) from South Korea.

A café in the lobby looks out onto the city. On the same floor is a book store/gift shop that is worth spending time in.

Perhaps the only complaint was the dearth of English-language explanation.

Access

A three-minute walk from Nakasu-Kawabata subway station. Kawabata-machi bus stop. The Hotel Okura and Hakata-za Theater are both next door.

Details
7 & 8th floor, Riverain Center Building
3-1 Shimokawabata-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City

Tel: 092 263 1100
Fax: 092 263 1105

Opening hours: 10:00-20:00
Closed on Wednesdays (or the following day if Wednesday is a national holiday). Also closed for the New Years holiday (26 Dec - 1 Jan).

Adults: 200 yen; High School Students 150 yen; otherwise free.

Japanese Art - byobu screens

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