Neo Tropicalia

So a while ago, me and my mom went to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art of Tokyo near Kiyosumi Garden, which I visited before. It was a not too long train ride but a really long walk there from the train station, so if you are interested in going, I would definitely recommend asking for the shortcut from the locals.
The people are really nice and the area is really old world….tons of amazing shrines. Tons. Above, I’m praying at a shrine that is supposed to elevate my social status, hahaha.
The museum itself was beautiful- really modern architecture and covered in these colorful decals that looked like stained glass.

The main exhibit was called Neo Tropicalia and was basically all Brazilian avant-garde. It was totally amazing and really fun. One of the installations was this big labyrinth-style square of thick cardboard corridors, with each section divided from the next with a colored plastic screen….everything was brightly lit and the plastic would filter into the rooms so that you would go from yellow cardboard land to blue cardboard land to orange. For some reason it was really ecstatically fun to run through the screens and my mother and I went through twice. At the end of the labyrinth, attendants were handing out mango juice….that really good, thick, syrupy, sweeeeeet delicious juice from latin countries. MMMMMM it really made me miss San Diego.

A big part of the exhibit was about Brazilian-inspired fashion, including designs by the legendary and totally awesome Issey Miyake.

The guy who did the corridors, Hélio Oiticica, also did this section where you wear these freeform capes while listening to favela funky/tropicalia/samba mix music and dance. Pictures were technically not allowed and there were guards everywhere so I couldn’t take pictures (all the other ones I took were in secret, hahaha), but I wish I could have because seeing my mom dancing in a cape with huge headphones on was so cute.

Other notable sections:
There was this room that was totally trippily decorated and filled with beanbags in front of sensors, and if you wore these proper headphones and aligned with the sensors, your senses would be assailed by latin acid jazz, hip hop en espanol, and more tropicalia y the funky stuff of course. But if you went out of line with the sensors, you got a lot of static and sometimes intercepted signals from other stations, so most of the time I was in electric beanbagland, my ears in the Carnivale LSD spaceship from tokyo.

Other exhibits included talking plants…..graphic black and white prints….colorful pictures of urban planning….


I saw an exhibit of his in MCSD, and this one was even better because it was all white (not the spices you see above) and there were these really big beanbags that you could lay on and look up at the bundles from.

…and of course the restaurant was really good : )
I had amaaazing quiche!

ANYWAYS it was a totally rad, trippy, colorful exhibit and if you are anywhere near Tokyo it is a must-see!


1 Comment

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One response to “Neo Tropicalia

  1. MASA

    Hi Mari!

    I’m old friend of your mom.
    I’m happy that you enjoy Tokyo Life.
    There are only in Tokyo given the global fame expositions and tons of concerts.So local peeps in Japan have to come up to Tokyo to enjoy them.
    You stay in Tokyo with your family by good luck.
    Tokyo is dynamic city and change every day!
    If you come this city a few years later,you lost your way because of the town view metamorphosing. 
    Enjoy a last week out in Japan and brand the view of Tokyo 2008 on your mind.
    When I was Univ.student, I walked in the jungle in PANAMA.I was tired becaouse of long walking and the heavy backpack.
    One adventurer said and winked to me, “hey Masa, you need just a little bit brave and big smile!” I could walk again.
    I gift you the words for your life.
    GOOD LUCK!I always mind your life,MARI.

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