Announcing the Upcoming Marubeni Gallery Exhibition ”Wafrica: In Search of a Third Aesthetic”

Apr. 08, 2024
Marubeni Corporation



Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni”) is pleased to announce that the upcoming Marubeni Gallery exhibition Wafrica: In Search of a Third Aesthetic will be held from May 8 to June 8, 2024. 


Wafrica Pictured artwork: Serge Mouangue, Blood Brothers, 2010, Private Collection


Wafrica: In Search of a Third Aesthetic expresses the Marubeni Gallery’s concept of “a space where the aesthetics of the East and West in ancient and modern times resonate with each other” by shedding light on the cultural affinities between Japan and Africa, and represents the first solo exhibition in Japan by Serge Mouangue, a Paris-based contemporary artist from Cameroon. His Wafrica project marries ancient and sophisticated African and Japanese aesthetics to create a new territory, a third aesthetic, and has been gaining worldwide attention and momentum. This exhibition will feature multiple artworks including traditional African masks re-imagined in Japanese lacquer, kimonos crafted in African fabrics, and major figurative installations such as the Blood Brothers — as well as a number of pieces especially made for this exhibition.

As part of the Marubeni Gallery’s efforts to contribute to the conservation of traditional culture, visitors wearing a kimono, yukata, or other traditional Japanese attire have not been charged admission. For this exhibition, this exemption from admission fees will also be extended to visitors wearing traditional attire from anywhere in the world in the hopes that visitors, too, will engage in exchanges involving multiple cultures and aesthetics.

Exhibition Details:

Dates: Wednesday, May 8 to Saturday, June 8, 2024
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm (Last admission: 4:30 pm)
Closed: Sundays and public holidays
Admission: General admission: 500 yen
All proceeds from general admission sales will be donated to the Marubeni Foundation.
Note 1: The Marubeni Gallery is only able to accept cashless payments (such as transportation IC cards, credit cards, and QR code payments). 
Note 2: Admission is free for the following groups.
・ Children under 18 and 18/19-year-old senior high school students (with student ID)
・ Visitors with an official disability certificate, plus one accompanying caregiver
・ Visitors wearing a kimono, yukata, or other traditional Japanese attire
・ Visitors wearing traditional attire from anywhere in the world (during this exhibition only)
Organizer: Marubeni Gallery
Cooperation: Brain Trust Inc.

About the Marubeni Gallery:
Designed under the concept of “a space where the aesthetics of the East and West in ancient and modern times resonate with each other,” the Marubeni Gallery is a facility where Marubeni’s art collection is on display to the public. Marubeni’s art collection consists of the three main categories: textiles (such as kimono, Noh robes, and fabric fragments), textile designs , and paintings. Since its founding in 1858, Marubeni has pursued the aesthetic beauty of Japan through its textile business. This resulted in the collection and preservation of ancient textile products (such as kimono, obi, and silk gift-wrapping cloth) and designs primarily from the 17th to mid-19th centuries—the first and second pillars of the collection. Gaining contacts in the art world through this pursuit of textile designs, Marubeni also acquired modern Japanese paintings through art dealers or from the artists themselves. Later, in the 1960s and 70s, Marubeni expanded into the international art business, acquiring Western paintings as well. Together, these Japanese and Western paintings form the third pillar of the collection. Since its opening in 2021, the Marubeni Gallery has featured rotating exhibitions on a variety of themes to share this collection and other works of historical and cultural value with the public.

Official Website:     https://www.marubeni.com/gallery/en/
Official Instagram: https://instagram.com/marubeni_gallery_official

Future Exhibits (Tentative Title/Details):
Finding Beauty in Formality: Exploring the Marubeni Collection’s Noh Robes (September 25 to October 26, 2024)
The Quilt Art of Yawatagaki Mutsuko: The Metamorphosis of Ancient Fabric Fragments (November 26 to December 21, 2024)