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"Art Avenue" in Kanazawa - Traditional and Contemporary Public Art

Translated by Allie

Written by Osawa Kumi

Ishikawa 2016.06.10 Bookmark

Kanazawa is well known as a city which recognizes the importance of contemporary art as well as valuing history and traditions at the same time. This article features public art displayed on the Art Avenue, from Kanazawa Station to downtown Kōrinbō.

You might imagine Kanazawa being a historical and traditional Japanese town, but it is one of the cities which recognizes the importance of contemporary art.  The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art is one establishment that proves this feature. You can also get to see that from the public art found all around the city.

This article features public artwork on "Art Avenue", a street that goes from Kanazawa Station to downtown Kōrinbō.

Works of Art near JR Kanazawa Station


"Kettle figure, falling over", by Kazumasa Saegusa

After getting out from the East exit of Kanazawa Station, walk towards the left. You will see a unique sculpture, two meters tall, on the grass inside the bus station. This sculpture is named "Kettle figure, falling over", and is a work by artist Kazumasa Saegusa.


You will find the lid of the kettle on the other side. Unique public art like this will always catch the hearts of the passers-by.


"Biuon Bichūon Bikaion" ("Faint space world sound"), by Yūichi Yonebayashi

If you keep going to the right, you will find another art work. It is named "Biuon Bichūon Bikaion" ("Faint space world sound")  by Yūichi Yonebayashi. This bronze sculpture is two meters tall and four meters wide.


This one might be considered rather an architectural work than public art. The "Tuzumimon" Gate (with its lateral sides shaped a Japanese hand drum) is a symbol of Kanazawa city. This 13.7 meter tall wooden gate is always surrounded by visitors taking pictures of themselves with it.


The design of "Tuzumimon" was inspired by the ohayashi - the musical instruments used in the Japanese traditional performing arts such as Nōh theater.

Motenashi dome, the construction of aluminum and glass found behind "Tuzumimon" and the "Tuzumimon" Gate itself create a mysterious combination, symbolizing Kanazawa's understanding of both of traditional art and contemporary art.

Works of Art between the Station and Kōrinbō


J.K. Virkkunen "CORPUS MINOR #1"

If you keep going on the main street, you will see a big reddish brown sculpture. This is "CORPUS MINOR #1" by the Finish artist J.K. Virkkunen. Its rusty color and its size will astonish you. This work is 3.8 meters tall and weighs 6.5 tons.

"Its appearance changes with time, as it becomes rustier. This shows at the same time how the city itself and the generations change." This is the description of this sculpture. It seems that the change in color is the key point of this artwork.


"FUGA", by Mamoru Abe

There are three round iron sculptures found on in the grass. "FUGA" by Mamoru Abe measures two meters in width, weighing four tons.


"Hashire" ( "Run!"), by Jinji Kōri

You will find "Hashire!" ("Run!") by Junji Kōri in the industrial area of Kanazawa, Kōrinbō. This sculpture seems to be on the point to run away. As you can see from a picture above, it is placed in the green field. Art and nature are joined into one.

You can take photos of the public art we introduced in this article. You should try to take your own unique pictures of these works from various positions and angles. It would be a really great souvenir from Kanazawa, different from what can experience among the traditional culture of this city.


The map of Public Art in Kanazawa 

Official Website: Kanazawa Art Avenue

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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