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Bento exhibition at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum


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  • BENTO—Design for Eating, Gathering and Communicating

    21 July – 8 October 2018
    Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum

    From every-day lunch to festive meals, “bento” is something deeply rooted in Japanese culture.

    Bento, or more affectionately called “obento”, is a homemade lunch packed in a box or otherwise, whether a single portion to take to school and work, or multiple portions to serve on family occasions.

    This exhibition will feature the Japanese bento from the viewpoint of communication design to rediscover many facets of its charm and value.

    A total of eight artists, including the Dutch designer Marije Vogelzang, the “bento-hunting” photographer Satoru Abe, and Hiraku Ogura, a designer and fermentation specialist, will take you to the fascinating world of bento.

    The exhibits, from lunch boxes with playful designs dating to the Edo period (the 17th-19th centuries) to installations by contemporary artists, will be fun and appealing to both adults and kids.

    Bento is not just about a meal in a compartmentalized box. It also carries a social model, food culture, and most of all, love and compassion with it.

    Highlights of the BENTO exhibition

    A new animation film by Hiraku Ogura
    Sing and dance along with the contagiously familiar melody and characters, and you will learn more about bento.

    Communication out of the (lunch) box
    Works to highlight the interplay of self and other in the making and the eating of bento will be on display.

    阿部了 《ひるけ》2018年
    阿部了 《ひるけ》2018年

    《あゆみ食堂のお弁当》2017年 料理:大塩あゆ美、写真:平野太呂

    森内康博 《making of BENTO》イメージスケッチ
    森内康博 《making of BENTO》イメージスケッチ

    Bento experience
    Explore the world of bento through stimulating stories. Enter the passage-way named Osusowake Yokocho to witness “o-suso-wake”, which means the sharing of one’s food by giving small portions to others.

    マライエ・フォーゲルサング《intangible bento》イメージスケッチ
    マライエ・フォーゲルサング《intangible bento》イメージスケッチ

    北澤潤 《FLAGMENTS PASSAGE -おすそわけ横丁》 イメージスケッチ
    北澤潤 《FLAGMENTS PASSAGE -おすそわけ横丁》

    Lunch boxes with playful designs
    A variety of lunch boxes, from bento-bako used at feasts during the Edo period to lunch boxes from around the world, will be exhibited.

* The above is the information known at the time of publication and subject to change without prior notice.

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