Dalí in Kyoto

On show at the Municipal Museum of Art until Sep 4

By Cordelia Ding    - 3 min read

Currently exhibiting at the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art - until September 4th of this year - is a temporary, special collection of Salvador Dalí's artworks. This is the first time in ten years that Dalí has had his own special exhibit dedicated to his works. Dalí was an important figure in the surrealist movement in Spain, but what many don't know is that he produced a variety of artworks in different genres - his artworks are not simply limited to surrealist work.

The exhibition at the museum is one not to be missed. To start off, the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art itself is often a top pick for tourists because of the famous, outstanding (literally so) red Torii gate that frames the entrance to the museum. The museum is also known for its special exhibits that are free for the general public. The exhibitions tend to last for short periods of time - usually one to two weeks - so be sure to check the exhibit schedule before your visit.

Although the Salvador Dalí exhibition is not one of these complimentary exhibits, mainly because of its sheer number of artworks, the entrance fee of ¥1600 with special discounts (especially for students of all ages), is one that will offer you an experience of a lifetime. The price may seem a little higher than anticipated, but I can assure that every yen is well spent on the awe you will experience from looking at Dalí's art.

In the exhibition space, Dalí's works are divided into the different art styles he experimented, in chronological order. Ranging from his surrealist artworks, to the sketches he drew of his wife, and to his contributions to theater through stage design and costume design, and much more, the vastness of the exhibit is seemingly endless. Each historical collection of artworks is housed in a different room, and each room has a different external feeling too - as different lighting is used to employ different moods. For example, the surrealist room, with his famous "Uranium and Atomica Melancholica Idyll," one of his artworks inspired by World War II bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the lighting is dimmed to present a mystic aura. Another example of the careful choosing of lighting can be seen in the theater contributions exhibition, as the room is significantly brighter since some of the sketches are a little more faint and faded.

The entire collection boasts a grand total of almost 200 artworks, to count! Strolling at a leisurely pace and with the allowance and luxury of time to sit and appreciate a few of the artworks, the exhibition takes a little over an hour to enjoy. No photography is allowed, but feel free to accept a pencil from one of the museum staff members, and sit down and sketch for a little while!

If you are in Kyoto on an unbearably hot and humid day, or a day with torrential rain, or even just on a regular sunny day in August, I highly recommend this exhibition, as it is truly one of a kind. If you enjoy surrealist art, you will love this collection of Dalí's art!

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Cordelia Ding

Cordelia Ding @cordelia.ding

A college student currently in Tokyo, Japan

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