Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan

The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Japanese: 福岡アジア美術館,FAAM) is an art museum operated by Fukuoka City on the 7th floor and the 8th floor of Hakata Ribari, Fukuoka City Fukuoka City No. 3 No. 1 Shimokawabata-cho. It opened on March 6, 1999 (Heisei 19).

Due to its geographical and historical characteristics, Fukuoka City has served as a gateway to continental Asian culture since ancient times. Today it has assumed a new role, that of a key interactive city for Asia. Fukuoka Asian Art Museum opened in 1999, as a part of the city’s progressive strategy for interaction with different Asian cultures. Ever since its opening, it has attracted strong interest not only in Japan but other Asian and worldwide countries by presenting the following activities.

The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum is 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. Instead they seek to overcome the existing framework of art, being made by artists living in ‘contemporary’ Asia. These artists attempt to acutely express their message in and about this changing world of Asia. FAAM’s exhibitions of Asian modern and contemporary art are rich in depth and quality, and wide in scope. They present the originality and charm of Asian art in a way that cannot be experienced in any other museum in the world.

The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum has been functioning as a place for people to become familiar with Asian arts and culture through the artistic creations and researches of the invitees of the Residence Program. It is an interactive museum – the place of meeting, understanding each other and creating together.

The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum locates in the centre of the city where the energy of Fukuoka and Hakata intermingle. The residents of the city can easily access to today’s Asia through the museum. At the same time, the Asian artists can approach to the people in the city, taking advantage of the musesum’s location in the city centre and the originalty of their artworks.

The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum opened on the 6th march 1999 as a museum for collecting and exhibiting Asian modern and contemporary art. There is no other collection of this quality and quantity in the world with over 2,900 works (as of March 2017) covering various aspects drawn from 23 Asian countries and regions.
In the Asia Gallery, the streams of Asian modern and contemporary art are introduced through the collection and temporary exhibitions with specific themes. The exhibits are changed from time to time in order to introduce the richness, diverse expressions and the fresh impact of Asian art.

The basic of the collection was formed by the Fukuoka Art Museum, the parent museum of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum. The Fukuoka Art Museum had held the Asian Art Shows every 5 years, as well as solo and group exhibitions of Asian contemporary artists, since its opening in 1979. It kept collecting works through these exhibitions for over 20 years, which has made the collection represent the art scene of each period. The Fukuoka Art Museum also paid attention to the popular, ethnic and folk art that were excluded from the ‘fine art’ in a narrow sense and it added the works that reflected the reality of the public into its collection. The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum continues to enrich its collection that was build upon the past accomplishment by pursuing the principles below.

The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum systematically collects modern and contemporary artworks that show the originality and distinctive aesthetics of Asian art without adhering to the framework of ‘fine art’ derived from modern Western values. It sets the principle below aiming at creating a new criterion of the Asian art.
The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum collects;
works that show the streams of Asian art from the modern to the contemporary period
folk art, ethnic art and popular art that are important in considering Asian modern and contemporary art
other traditional art and craft that are important in considering Asian modern and contemporary art

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Asian modern art here means the art rose after the Asian countries and regions met Western modern art and culture, after which they began to seek for the new expressions different from the traditional art focusing on the individual creativity. The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum will keep tackling this issue of ‘modern’ in the different contexts of art in each country and region.

Asian modern and contemporary artworks are systematically exhibited to present their excellent artistic sensitivity and an originality quite different from that of Western art and Japanese art. Under specific themes, display is changed 8 times a year.

4 temporary exhibition series such as ‘Modern Artists’, ‘Contemporary Asian Artist’, ‘Arts of People’ and ‘Crossing Visions’ are presented to introduce the charms of Asian art from different eras, regions and genres.

‘Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale’ is held every three years in order to introduce the most up-to-date Asian art. Other special exhibitions of diverse fields related to Asia are also organised.

The FAAM presents workshops, lectures and other educational programs for a wide range of audiences. Volunteer gallery guides introduce the permanent collection of the museum, through which visitors to the museum understand and feel close to the art and culture of Asia. The FAAM also publishes AJIBI News (a periodical newsletter) and a website to widely distribute information on Asian art.

FAAM conducts research on Asian modern and contemporary art by visiting related places and institutions as well as utilising written documents and archives. It presents the results of its researches in the forms of exhibition and lecture. The valuable information and archives collected by its locally-conducted investigations is accessible by local citizens and specialists in and around the country. It continues further research on Asian art together with the researchers in residence at FAAM.

Asian artists and researchers are invited to participate in the Residence Program to engage in interactive activities with people in Fukuoka. They present various Art Exchange Programs such as open studios, workshops, performances and lectures. In addition to the Residence Programs, information on Asian art is exchanged with other museums and art institutions in and around Japan, and researchers on different programs and scholarships are accepted in FAAM. Through these various Art Exchange Programs, the FAAM establishes cooperative networks with Asian artists, as well as the researchers and specialists in and around the country.

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