Nagi Museum of Contemporary Art
1991 - 1994
Site Area: 7,072 sqmBuilding Area: 1,545 sqmTotal Floor Area: 1,887 sqm
Official Web Site
The Nagi Museum of Contemporary Art is an entirely new type of contemporary art museum. As a building type the museum has been evolving since the nineteenth century, and in content and form Nagi MOCA is what might be called a third-generation art museum.
Art museums came into being at the end of the eighteenth century as places to exhibit royal and aristocratic collections. Works of art from ancient times onward were gathered and exhibited there, with framed paintings and sculptures on pedestals. The artworks were in many cases torn from their original settings to be brought together under one roof. The Loubre, and much later on, the Tokyo National Museum offer examples of such first-generation art museums. Modern art, beginning with Impressionism, emerged in the late nineteenth century, partly in opposition to the authority of this kind of art museum. Modernism ultimately reduced most artworks to planes and solid geometric figures. Art museums with adjustable floors and walls were best suited for exhibiting such works. The Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and many recently designed museums of modern art in Japan are examples of second-generation art museums.
Since the 1960's, artists have continued to experiment with different forms of art, creating works that transcend the materiality of plane and solid ; these often extend into the rooms in which their site-specific works are arranged. Art museums designed to exhibit such works have not hitherto existed. A museum of this kind requires the architecturalization of spaces conceived by living artists. Today, we are witnessing in fragmentary form the beginning of trend toward third-generation art museum, so-called
museums of contemporary art.