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The town of Kobuchisawa blessed with an abundance of Nature in Yatsugatake-Nanroku, has become the first in the world to have an entire Art Museum dedicated to displaying only Keith Haring’s work. The museum being named simply, the Nakamura Keith Haring Collection.

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Keith Haring has often been praised as the man who defined American Art in the 1980s, as well as one of the pioneers of street art. Using the Subway Billboards of 80s era New York as the canvas for his Graffiti, he and his art soon bathed in the limelight. Denying the art world monopolized by the rich, and holding the conviction that “art is for everybody” Haring over the course of five years covered the subways of New York with his art. In this new world filled with his art, even New York City subway were art appraisers.

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All Keith Haring Artworks © The Keith Haring Foundation
Courtesy of Nakamura Keith Haring Collection.


Economic recession, racial discrimination and the increase in the spread of AIDS were just a few out of many problems that threw 1980s New York into utter chaos. And yet it was also a time where America’s Museums of Modern Art were on the rise. Thus using the light and dark sides of the country as his inspiration, Haring’s art was born.

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All Keith Haring Artworks © The Keith Haring Foundation
Courtesy of Nakamura Keith Haring Collection.

Through his art, Haring openly displayed ideas such as breaking free from the shackles and restraints of society, as well the beauty of freedom and equality. Then, in the latter half of the 1980s Haring began production works not only in the US but also all across the world. On a larger scale he also held multiple workshops for Children from all around the world while pouring much effort into a variety of social projects. 

In the year 1988 he was infected with HIV and in 1990 at the young age of 31 Keith Haring had lost his life. However, until his very last moment Haring still continued his involvement in Social Activism through his art. 

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 All Keith Haring Artworks © The Keith Haring Foundation
Courtesy of Nakamura Keith Haring Collection.

On display until Nov. 17th 2019, the Nakamura Haring Collection is also holding a temporary exhibit entitled VIRAL. The exhibit will introduce the work of another artist based in Brooklyn, New York by the name of Enrico Isamu Oyama.  
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Artwork© Enrico Isamu Oyama

Oyama’s art utilizes an abstract motif called QUICK TURN STRUCTURE. QTS which involved removing the letters of a word, extract only the flowing lines and then repeating them to maximize their dynamism.
Although Oyama, who is half-Japanese, half-Italian and was born and raised in Tokyo focuses on the same genre of Street Art as Haring did major differences can still be felt between their works.
Perhaps because in Oyama’s art he uses charcoal as a medium, his art evokes the delicacy of traditional ink paintings. And yet at the same time the way its drawn seems to break all that down.

In contrast to Haring who used the light and dark of society as context for his art and expressed the darkness inside of human’s even with his bright popping colors, what Oyama’s art expresses is different.

From his art, you can feel the emergence of unique form of Nationalism born from the mixing and blending of diverse countries and cultures. Although street art is a very different style of painting from the traditional art that Japan has been praised for, somehow as I gaze at his art I cannot help but feel a certain essence of Japan and Asia lingering in each line upon his canvases.

Each person sees and feels art differently.
There are things that thoughts and words cannot easily express, and yet art can. And I think that’s something that those who view art know very well. 
Please do stop on by at the Nakamura Haring Collection while you still have time to see both the art of a giant in his era Keith Haring, and of a unique modern street artist that has steadily been gaining recognition Enrico Isamu Oyama.

Furthermore, inside of the Collection hall there is a wonderful café and wonderful Haring inspired merchandise to check out as well. The inside of the Chic café is also a great place for photos. We looked like we were on our own album cover! If you have time to visit, be sure to take one to. It is sure to be a wonderful experience for everyone.

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All Keith Haring Artworks © The Keith Haring Foundation
Courtesy of Nakamura Keith Haring Collection.

Nakamura Keith Haring Collection

10249-7 Kobuchizawa, Hokuto, Yamanashi, Japan
TEL:0551-36-8712 External link )

Admission Fee:General 1,200JPY 
                           Visitors with Disabilities   600 JPY
                           Students (over 16 Years Old)   600 JPY
                           Children(Ages 15 and under)    FREE 
                           Groups(20 people or more)  1000 JPY ※reservation required


From JR SHINJUKU Chuo Line Express train (~2hrs)
From JR NAGOYA Chuo Line Express train (~3hrs)
>(Transfer at JR SHIOJIRI Sta.)
From JR KOBUCHIZAWA, 8 minutes by car.

From Osaka / Kyoto please use the crystal line.
From the Chuo KABUCHIZAWA bus stop to the museum is 5mins by Taxi.


 Exhibition Period:05/18/19〜11/17/19
( External link )

Published on

  • August 23, 2019


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