21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

Home Arts & Culture 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

Absorb the zeitgeist in this showcase of the best of contemporary art

Kanazawa does not typically bring to mind modern art, especially modern art presented in an elegant, ethereal space with insightful curation. But it should—the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art is a revelation. Kanazawa is 300 kilometers to the northwest of Tokyo, but its bucolic river location, settled between mountains and the sea, feels much further. A relative newcomer to the art world, having opened in 2005, the museum quickly became a favorite, getting more than a million visitors in less than a year.

Its success should come as no surprise. Designed by Japanese architects Seijima and Nishizawa, the structure is a gigantic cylinder, full of light, that is vast on the inside, but from the outside, almost hidden. The contemporary artists displayed inside feature the brightest of stars, including Ehrlich’s evocative “The Swimming Pool” and Izumi Kato’s delicate pastels of disturbing figures.

1-2-1 Hirosaka-fu, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken