Cartier Opens Retrospective Exhibition At Tokyo National Museum

"Half-Century of Cartier in Japan and Beyond" traces Cartier's 50 years in Japan through archival pieces and artwork
"Half-Century of Cartier in Japan and Beyond" traces Cartier's 50 years in Japan through archival pieces and artwork

Cartier opened its first boutique in Japan in 1974, located in the Harajuku district of Tokyo, and to mark anniversary of Cartier’s 50th year in Japan, the maison has partnered with the Tokyo National Museum to present the exhibition “Musubi – Half-Century of Cartier in Japan and Beyond: An Everlasting Dialogue of Beauty and Art”.

Held at the Hyokeikan building, on the grounds of the Tokyo National Museum, the exhibition features 120 pieces from the Cartier Collection and loaned from private collectors, and more than 50 items from the Cartier Archives; more than 150 works of contemporary art, including 50 paintings commissioned for Cartier’s 50th anniversary in Japan, and two commissioned wall paintings.

Conceptualised based on “musubi”—the technique of knotting or tying objects, which shares its name with the Shinto concept of the interconnected energy of the universe, or spiritual power that’s produced by being bound together—the exhibition is divided between the Hyokeikan’s two symmetric wings, each dedicated to one narrative.

“Cartier and Japan, a Tribute to Art and Beauty” celebrates Cartier’s 150 years of creating Japanese-inspired jewellery, starting from the days of Louis Cartier, a grandson of the maison’s founder; highlights include an 1890 inro (traditional carrying case) made of lacquered wood, and diamond-set brooches from 1907 in the form of knotted cord or fabric, up to the 2023 Trinity for Chitose Abe capsule collection designed by the founder of the fashion label sacai.

“Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain and Japanese Artists, a Never-Ending Conversation” focuses on works by Japanese artists whom Fondation Cartier has collaborated with or featured over the years, from Issey Miyake to Takashi Murakami.

The exhibition scenography was designed by Studio Adrien Gardère to reflect the Hyokeikan’s history as Japan’s oldest art gallery, and combines Japanese architectural features such as tokonoma (indoor display alcoves) and traditional building materials.

Until July 28; click here for visitor information


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