In the setting of what is probably Tokyo’s most stylishly decorated art museum, curator Kasumi Yamaki explains the theme of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum’s latest exhibition “Decoration Never Dies, Anyway.”

“I’ve always wondered what the audience are thinking when they use the word ‘decoration. Does it mean something positive? Rich? Extraordinary? Of course beautiful. Is it something they think is necessary to life, though? I doubt it,” she says. “Also, this is an art museum, and art people use the term ‘decorative’ in a very negative way — contemporary art is focused on concept, and ‘decorative’ is like a dirty word. For audiences though, decoration is very positive, so where does that difference in attitude come from?”

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