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Patterns of fun at the National Museum of Modern Art

by Masami Ito

Staff Writer

Whether lines, circles, squares, triangles or other shapes, in our daily lives, we are constantly surrounded by patterns and designs.

“Patterns of Delight: Crafts Gallery for Kids + Adults” at The National Museum of Modern Art invites adults and children to explore such geometric beauty through a 200-piece collection of crafts and pottery.

During the exhibition’s run, and in time for the summer break, various related kids’ events have also been scheduled. Parents can learn about art with their children in a “touch and talk” session, where participants can actually feel some of the exhibits. Kids can also take part in a treasure hunt, for which they are asked to find specific artworks based on clues. Any child who solves all the clues and finds all the “treasures” wins a prize.

Highlights of the actual exhibition include various artworks by Kodo Otomaru, a former living national treasure who specialized in lacquer-carving techniques. Of particular note is a tea caddy decorated with a hydrangea pattern that he created by carving away at a base of multi-colored layered lacquer. By using different depths of carving, Otomaru could reveal specific colors, bringing his hydrangeas to life in three-dimensional form.

“Patterns of Delight: Crafts Gallery for Kids + Adults” at The National Museum of Modern Art in Takebashi runs till Aug. 31; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is ¥210 for adults, ¥70 for college students and free for children under age 18 and seniors age 65 and over. For more information, visit www.momat.go.jp/english/craft/summer2014/index.html.