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The Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (MIMOCA) is only a step away from JR Marugame Station in Kagawa. This facility features contemporary art, various shops, a cafe, and even free admission areas for visitors to stop by.
The permanent exhibition “Genichiro Inokuma: Works in NY” (December 18, 2021 to March 21, 2022)
Kagawa Prefecture is home to Naoshima, which is a sacred place for contemporary art. It is also hosts the Setouchi Triennale once every three years.
The Marugame Genichiro Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (MIMOCA) is solely dedicated to the works of Genichiro Inokuma. Moreover, it is one of the most popular art museums in the prefecture.
Photo by Akira Takahashi
Genichiro Inokuma (1902-1993) was a Japanese artist from Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture. He studied under Henri Matisse, creating abstract paintings that embodied his unique style. Being active in New York and Tokyo contributed to his worldwide acclaim.
Genichiro Inokuma spent part of his youth in Marugame City. This connection to the city inspired the construction of MIMOCA in 1991.
MIMOCA is a destination for everyone. Even those uninterested in art, travelers with small children, and art enthusiasts alike can enjoy this museum.
Below, we'll introduce five ways to enjoy MIMOCA to the fullest.
Genichiro Inokuma “Hiyaku” 1956-1957 ©The MIMOCA Foundation
Genichiro Inokuma garnered acclaim as an abstract artist. His abstract paintings possess alluring ambiguity that puts the viewer’s imagination to work.
Take the painting pictured above for example. Our writer first thought, “Are those human bones?” To his surprise, however, the work is titled “Hiyaku” (Great Achievements, 1956-1957)! It really broadens our imagination while wondering what kind of emotions were channeled into this artwork to give it such a name.
Left: “Water Shores B” 1970, Right: “Water Shores A” 1970 Both by Genichiro Inokuma ©The MIMOCA Foundation
His abstract paintings differ significantly in style based on when they were created. Take the “Water Shores” (1970) paintings pictured above. These works are straightforward and differ from the previously introduced “Hiyaku.”
Genichiro Inokuma valued beautiful things in daily life and was often involved in commercial design. He also delved into other mediums and created wire sculptures.
Due to the diversity of his portfolio, MIMOCA changes the artwork in their permanent exhibition three to four times a year. You'll experience new discoveries with each visit.
The architect who designed MIMOCA is Yoshio Taniguchi.
Mr. Taniguchi designed the last major renovation of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City and the Tokyo National Museum’s Gallery of Horyuji Treasures. He is regarded as an “architect who designs the most beautiful art museums in the world.”
One of MIMOCA’s biggest features is a space that lets in an abundance of natural sunlight. It was brought to life by Mr. Taniguchi from conversations with Mr. Inokuma. It’s almost as if the building’s interior is an artwork made of light. Some may even enter a state of relaxation simply by being inside.
Stop by Cafe MIMOCA during your visit to the museum. It is operated by Town’s Schule 963 (Japanese), a popular variety store and cafe in Takamatsu.
Pictures courtesy of Town’s Schule 963
They serve homemade cake sets and trendy lunches. You’ll have a relaxing time simply by being at the chic eatery. Additionally, Cafe MIMOCA is open to the public whether you’re visiting the museum or not.
Cafe MIMOCA sells a multitude of Shikoku food products and everyday goods. It’s the perfect place to shop for souvenirs and gifts.
An art museum isn’t complete without a gift shop by the entrance. The museum shop sells various products including stationery, tumblers, and handkerchiefs featuring paintings and designs by Genichiro Inokuma.
Genichiro Inokuma viewed art museums as “hospitals for the soul.” He aimed to make museums accessible for visitors to invigorate their spirits. For these reasons, MIMOCA has a couple of free admission areas.
Cascade Plaza on the third floor is a free admission zone with an object installation by Genichiro Inokuma. The back of the plaza has a waterfall that soothes the soul with the beautiful sound of flowing water.
The area by the museum’s entrance is also a free admission area. Visitors can admire artworks by Genichiro Inokuma while sitting down and relaxing (*).
*Artwork such as video art or other mediums by outside artists may be displayed depending on the theme of the exhibition.
Genichiro Inokuma carefully considered "cultivating a rich sensibility and creativity in children.” Following this philosophy, MIMOCA offers free admission for high school students and children under 18.
Additionally, rental strollers are made available for people visiting with small children.
The museum also has a fully equipped nursing room.
Nadegata Instant Party (Tohru Nakazaki, Daisuke Yamashiro, Tomoko Noda) “HOME STAY HOME” 2021, Special Exhibition “In Marugame – At the Moment” (December 18, 2021to March 21, 2022)
Inokuma hoped MIMOCA would become a contemporary art museum that actively introduces new art. Honoring his wishes, all kinds of special modern art exhibitions are presently held at MIMOCA.
You can check the current special exhibitions on the museum’s official website.
MIMOCA is located right in front of a train station, which is quite rare in Japan. It is accessible in just a minute by foot from JR Marugame Station.
If only the permanent exhibition is open, the admission fee is 300 yen. Fees for special exhibitions vary with each show. As previously mentioned, high school students and children under 18 can enter for free.
Marugame Castle is a popular sightseeing destination about a 15-minute walk from MIMOCA. Marugame Castle is known for having the tallest stone walls in Japan.
Picture from A Gorgeous Sunset! 5 Ways To Enjoy Chichibugahama Beach In Kagawa. Picture courtesy of Mitoyo City
There are several famous spots nearby. Chichibugahama Beach is a magnificent spot nicknamed “the Uyuni Salt Flat of Japan." The stunning destination is about 30 minutes to an hour away by car. Meanwhile, Kotohira-gu Shrine is known as one of the top spiritual spots in Japan.
You'll have plenty to do and see on your next trip to Kagawa!
In cooperation with Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (MIMOCA)