For further information, please contact at: 029-227-8111
(81-29-227-8111 if dialing from abroad)
You may also send us an E-mail at:


Feb. 10 (Sat.) To May 6, 2001 (Sun.)

One of the "footprints" left by humankind in the 20th century has been its venture into outer space.
Thanks to the development of science and technology and the activities of astronauts/cosmonauts, space has been brought into our living rooms, so to speak, becoming ever more familiar.
In the 1990s, the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope beyond the confines of the atmosphere has enabled us those of us back on earth to see photographs revealing aspects of space never known (or knowable) before.
In 1999, Japan completed the construction of the Subaru Telescope on the slopes of Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii.
Those telescopes have allowed us to further apprehend and appreciate the beautiful appearance of the cosmos.
Spatial objects have captured the imagination of artists as well as scientists, as one can look upon the appearance of spatial objects as a kind of abstract painting, with their mysterious and manifold shapes and colors.
Some of those artists have been compelled to produce original artistic works based on planetary, stellar and galactic forms.

Art Tower Mito's "Space Odyssey" exibition focuses on the mystery and beauty of outer space, particularly the ties that link human beings and space. It consists of paintings, photographs, installations and videos. Furthermore, we have arranged lectures, with the cooperation of astronomers, dwelling on the theme of humans beings amidst the vastness and greatness of space.

We also plan to hold a workshop for participants to personally experience space and muse about our place in the universe.

Images: NGC 5194 (M 51) & NGC 5195, The Orion Nebula, M104
By National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Featured Artists and Works: Michael Light (US), Charles & Ray Eames (US), Thomas Shannon (US), John McCracken(US), David Malin (Australia), Wenyon & Gamble (US & Britain), Thomas Ruff (Germany), Hiroyuki Moriwaki(Japan), Jiro Hirano (Japan), Akira Kanayama(Japan)
Photographs by the Hubble Space Telescope and by the Subaru Telescope, etc.

Feb. 10 (Sat.) To May 6 (Sun.), 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (No admittance after 6:00)

Closed on Mondays, Feb. 13 (Tue.) and May 1 (Tue.), but open on National holidays, Feb. 12 (Mon.) and Apr. 30 (Mon.)
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (No admittance after 6:00 p.m.)
Admission: ¥800 General
¥600 Advance-purchase tickets, groups (20 or more)
¥1,000 H.T.P. (one-year Pass for 15- to 19-year-olds, available at ATM and JR East)
¥2,000 Pass for Adults (one-year pass for persons aged 20 and above)
Free Students (through 9th grade), senior citizens (65 and older), and handicapped persons
Curator: Eriko Osaka, Chief Curator of Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito
Organizer: Mito Arts Foundation
Supported by: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)
The National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA)
The Mito Municipal Board of Education
Grant from: The Japan Foundation
The British Council
Sponsored by: Toyota Motor Corporation, Asahi Breweries Ltd.
Cooperation: SOUM Corporation, Takeo Co., Ltd.

Artists and Works Presented

Charles Eames (1907-78, U.S.) & Ray Eames (1912-88, U.S.)
"Powers of Ten" (1968), the first film produced by this husband-and-wife team, fascinated many people with its expression of the close relationship between humankind and outer space.
ATM will show a new video version of the Eames' work all day long throughout the exhibition.

Image: From Powers of Ten (original production 1968)
Eams Office ©1999

Wenyon & Gamble
Michael Wenyon (b. 1955, U.S.) & Susan Gamble (b. 1957, U.K.)
Wenyon & Gamble have created holograms recounting the history of astronomy.
Their "Interference Fringes" reproduces an experiment in Newton's "Optics," and four works use astronomical photographs obtained from the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Image: The Fringe of Shadows of Knives 1987
Hologram, easel, photo

Wenyon & Gamble Website

Akira Kanayama (b. 1924, Japan)
Kanayama, once an active member of the Gutai Art Society, has actively drawn astronomical paintings since 1990.
Retaining his fascination with astronomy from the time of his youth -- he even attended a lecture by the famous Russian astronomer George Gamow (1904-1968) -- he devotes his energies to a new type of work that combines science and art.

Image: Cosmic painting Red and Black 1998
215.5 x 292cm
Oil on canvas

Thomas Shannon (b. 1947, U.S.)
In Shannon's work, countless spheres suspended in air follow the north-south direction of the earth's magnetic field of the earth as they maintain a certain color.
Also, he depicts a white human body floating in the air, appearing as if it were released from the force of gravity.

Image: Color Compass Atoms 1993
10cm diameter (each), 202 pieces
aluminum, wood, magnet, paint

Jiro Hirano (b. 1963, Japan)
Hirano's installation uses a ceiling projector to cast cosmic images onto the tables and floor in the room.
His images, illustrating the "memories" -- i.e., the principal astronomical data, events and sounds of each cosmic era -- of the time and electric waves over 12 billion light years, can be seen in succession through the turn of a dial.

Image: 100 Light Years 1999
dimensions variable
PC, projector, amplifier, speaker, table mirror etc.
Photo by Yasuo Saji

John McCracken (b. 1934, U.S.)
McCracken's minimal sculpture provided the inspiration for the black monolith that symbolized the film, "2001: A Space Odyssey."
He presents a new work suggestive of that monolith.

Image: Mars 1988-92
244 x 35 x 3.5cm
polyester resin, fiberglass, plywood
Courtesy David Zwirner, New York

David Malin (b. 1941, born in U.K., lives in Australia)
The photographs of outer space taken by the Australian astronomer, David Malin, are imbued with beauty and mystery.
New prints of his photographs have been made for ATM's Space Odyssey exhibition.

Image: Hally's Comet
92 x 112 cm
Negative prints
© Anglo-Australian Observatory

Hiroyuki Moriwaki (b. 1964, Japan)
In Moriwaki's installation, a ceiling projector casts light onto the floor, "memorizing" an image of outer space combined with the shadows of the viewers in the room, then fades out gradually.
Using a rotating stage, his new work enlists viewer participation as it describes the passage of time.

Image: Geo-Sphere 1996
LED, one chip micro computer, electronic board, steel, acrylic resin etc.
Photo by Tsuyoshi Saito

Michael Light (b. 1963, U.S.)
Light, who used digitally scanned pictures from the Apollo missions in the planning and creation of his exhibition, "Full Moon," presents an installation that comprises 14 photographs of the lunar surface.

Image: From the project Full Moon, by Michael Light, 1999
Image of Charles Duke's Family on Lunar Surface; photographed by Charles Duke, Apollo 16, 1972
Negative NASA; digital image ©1999 Michael Light

Thomas Ruff (b. 1958, Germany)
Ruff's "Star" series consists of giant prints made from negatives supplied by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), an international research center situated in the Atacama Desert of Chile.
The pitch-darkness of outer space and the whiteness of stars stand in sharp contrast.

Image: STERN 03h 18m/-25o 1992
260 x 188cm
collection, Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts

Photographs by the Hubble Space Telescope

Image: Jupitar 1994
©Hubble Telescope Comet Team and NASA

Photographs by the Subaru Telescope

Image: Spiral Galaxy M63
By National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)

Related Exhibitions

Dates: Feb. 10 (Sat.) To 25 (Sun.)
Venue: Room 8, ATM Contemporary Art Gallery
-- Exhibition-use spacesuit" manufactured by Hamilton Standard (owned by NASDA, the National Space Development Agency of Japan)
-- Model of spacesuit used in a NASA Space Shuttle

Dates: Feb. 10 (Sat.) To May 6 (Sun.)
Venue: ATM Contemporary Art Gallery
-- Pamphlet used at debut of "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) in the U.S.
-- Keith Bork's "Cosmic View" (1957), which inspired the Eames' "Powers of Ten" film

SPACE ODYSSEY exhibition catalogue

Price: ¥2,700 (including 5% consumption tax)

Availability: Sold only at the "Contrepoint" Museum Shop inside ATM

Mail to:


(1) Opening Talk: "The Beauty of Outer Space"
David Malin, an astronomer and photographer working at the Anglo-Australian Observatory in Sydney, Australia, has observed the cosmic beauty and mystery for many years.
In September 2000, his astronomical photography was awarded one of photography's most prestigious prizes -- the Lennart Nilson Award of Sweden.
Date: Feb. 10 (Sat.)
Time: 1:30-3:00 p.m. (seating begins at 1:00 p.m.)
Venue: Workshop, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito
Lecturer: David Malin
Admission Fee: Included in the admission price to the exhibition
Seating: 80 (accepted in the order of application)

(2) Citizens' Lecture 3: "The Challenge of the Subaru Telescope"
The Japanese astronomer Norio Kaifu was the main backer of the Subaru Telescope project, built on Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii.
In his lecture that describes episodes in the project's realization, he demonstrates the appeal of space to our imagination.
Date: Feb. 24 (Sat.)
Time: 2:00-3:30 p.m. (seating begins at 1:30 p.m.)
Venue: Conference Room, Art Tower Mito
Lecturer: Norio Kaifu (Director General, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, NAOJ)
Organizer: Mito Arts Foundation / ATM Tomo-no-kai Members Club
Admission: ¥500 (free for Tomo-no-kai members)
Capacity: 80
Reservations: Required -- call (029) 225-3555 Sorry, reached the limit.
Image: Subaru Telescope (provided by National Astronomical Observatory)

(3) Workshop: "Let's Look at Jupiter and Saturn."
Participants in the workshop will have the opportunity to view a clear wintry sky, particularly the planets of Jupiter and Saturn, through two reflecting telescopes (20cm and 30cm).
You can also observe Jupiter's four main moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) and Saturn's ring.
Dates: Feb. 24 (Sat.) and 25 (Sun.)
Time: 5:30-7:00 p.m.
* If the weather is cloudy or rainy, the workshop on Feb. 24 will be postponed to March 10 (Sat), and the one on Feb. 25 to March 11 (Sun.)
Venue: Terrace, Art Tower Mito
Age Restriction: Primary school students and up
Admission Fee: Free
Number limit: 40 people on each date (accepted in the order of application)
How to apply: Send a return postcard, available at Japanese post offices, with the following details:
- Write the words, "Application for Jupiter and Saturn"
- Choice of date (either Feb. 24 or 25)
- Name
- Age
- Address
- Phone number
Once the number of applicants reaches the limit, no more applications will be accepted.
Send applications to: "Space Odyssey" Staff
Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito
1-6-8 Gokencho, Mito-shi 310-0063
Sorry, reached the limit.
Cooperation: Mito City Educational Research Center

(4) Workshop: "Make a CG Image of outer space by Yourselves."
How about forming a group with a couple of friends or family members to create an image using computer graphics (CG)?
The workshop is aimed at those who can perform simple operations on a computer.
In the workshop, your group will insert its CG image into a photo of outer space.
You can also take home a videotape copy of your CG image (one copy per group).
Sorry, but individuals not applying as a group are not allowed to participate in the workshop.
Date: March 25 (Sun.)
Time: 1:00-5:00 p.m.
Venue: Workshop, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito
Instructor: Shigekazu Sakai (Asst. Professor, Kyushu Institute of Design)
Age Restriction: 4th grade and up
Admission Fee: ¥3,000 (per group)
Number limit: Eight groups of 2-4 persons
How to apply: Send a return postcard, available at Japanese post offices, on which your group has written the following details:
- Write the words, "Application for a CG Image"
- Names and ages of all participants (2-4 persons)
- Address and phone # of the representative.
Deadline: Applications must be received by March 10 (Sat).
Note: Lots will be drawn if there are more than eight applications.
Send applications to: "Space Odyssey" Staff, Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito
1-6-8 Gokencho, Mito-shi 310-0063
Cooperation: Children's Media Committee
Waseda University Global Information and Telecommunication Studies
Expression Tools, Inc.

(5) Workshop: "The Right Stuff' Inspection Plan"
One chair is all you need to experience space (i.e., the universe) without a reference point.
Participants will sit in a two-person chair designed by consulting a training program used by NASA and other astronaut-training institutions rotating in the darkness.
Each turn on the chair will last around 15 minutes
Planners: Jiro Hirano and Akiko Inada
Date: May 3 to 5 (Thu. to Sat.)
Time: 1:00-6:00 p.m.
Venue: Workshop, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito
Age Restriction: Junior high school students and up
Admission: Included in the admission price to the exhibition
Capacity: 10 pairs (20 people) per day
How to apply: Make reservations over the phone for the day and hour you want to attend.
Only pairs may apply.
Reservations: Will be accepted starting at 9:30 a.m. on April 10 (Tue).
Call (029) 225-3555.
Exclusions: Participation will be denied to pregnant women, as well as those who tend get dizzy or hypertensive, or those who potentially may pose safety problems.

(6) Saturday Gallery Talks
Each Saturday during the Space Odyssey exhibition, a gallery talk will be given by a volunteer guide known as a "CAC Gallery Talker," CAC standing for Contemporary Art Center.
Please be aware that special circumstances may force cancellation during some weeks.
Attendees are requested to gather at the entrance of the gallery by 2:30 p.m. on the day.
March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
April 7, 14, 21, 28
May 5
Time: 2:30-3:10 p.m.
Venue: Start at Contemporary Art Gallery entrance

(7) Gallery Talks for School Classes
Gallery talks for individual classes of schoolchildren will be given on Wednesdays,
Thursdays and Fridays for the duration of the exhibition.
Each talk will last some 40-60 minutes.
Schools that wish to participate are requested to fax an application (one for each class) to the number below.
The fax should be received at least ten days prior to the proposed date.
Fax number: (029) 227-8130

(8) Senior High School Students' Week and Special Lecture
During this period -- not a week but actually one month, from Feb. 24 (Sat.) to March 25 (Sun.) -- senior high school students (or anybody aged 15-18) can enter the gallery without charge.
Identification must be presented at the ticket window.
Representatives from Tycoon Graphics, a leading creative group popular among the young generation, will also give a lecture during the week.
Inquire about how to apply.
Date: March 3 (Sat.)
Time: 2:00-3:30 p.m. (seating begins at 1:30 p.m.)
Venue: Conference Room, Art Tower Mito
Lecturers: Yuichi Miyashi / Naoyuki Suzuki (Tycoon Graphics)
Seating: 80 (accepted in the order of application)

Concurrent exhibition at Room #9
Admission is included to the SPACE ODYSSEY exhibition
The Latin word, "criterium," comes from the Greek word, "criterion."
In ATM's Criterium Series, young Japanese artists and curators at ATM's Contemporary Art Center jointly present exhibitions related to the current main exhibition.

CRITERIUM 45: Naomi Iwaki Feb. 10 (Sat) To Mar. 11 (Sun.)

CRITERIUM 46: Izumi Kato Mar. 17 (Sat.) to Apr. 15 (Sun.)

It's NEW!
ATM Contemporary Art Gallery's
Pass for Adults
© Hiroko Ichihara
A new pass has been designed for adults aged 20 and older, letting the holder make an unlimited number of visits to the Contemporary Art Gallery's exhibitions for one year from the date of purchase.
The price is ¥2,000. The artwork on the pass has been designed by Hiroko Ichihara, an artist who incorporates words in her works. The logo on the pass reads: "Contemporary art -- as easy as pie." The pass is on sale at the ticket counter in Art Tower Mito.

HOME Concerts Tickets
Information Drama/Dance Membership
How to get to ATM Exhibitions

Copyright ©2000-01 Mito Arts Foundation. All Rights Reserved. Created by TK.
Mail to: