Nakamura-san began his interest in Keith Haring’s artwork in 1987.He was on a business trip from Japan and checking out the smaller galleries of New York when he came across an early exhibition of Haring’s work. He was immediately interested in Haring’s work but was shocked at the price.The gallery owner offered Nakamura-san layaway terms so he could pay in instalments, and so began Nakamura’s interest and collection of Haring pieces.
The purpose built gallery building was designed by Atsushi Kitagawara and it is a wonderful building, bright and airy,it refreshingly pulls the beauty of the location and the collection together.The surrounding area was a Jomon settlement and artifacts from that period are included within the exhibition space bringing the historical context of the surroundings and Haring’s works together in a meaningful way but not an overpowering way.It works really well.
The collection is well spaced and descriptions are plentiful, any fan of Haring’s will enjoy delving a bit further into Haring’s timeline of creation,his methods, and his thoughts and opinions but there really is nothing better than to read than The Keith Haring Journals which are fantastic personal artifacts of Haring.
Personal favourites at the museum were <Sweet Saturday Night> 1985, an Acrylic on heavy woven fabric that was the backdrop of a stage set for a dance performance The Brooklyn Academy of Music during Black History month (Feb 5-10th, 1985) and <untitled> 1984 a Yamaha 250 motorbike with marker pen drawings.
The museum is about 2-3 hours by train or bus from Shinjuku Station, Tokyo. We stayed at Tomo’s Air BnB which is about 25 minutes walk from the museum.
The museum has a no photography policy, and also, unfortunately, a no drawing policy (it would be great to see this removed for special artist days).