The Tokyo National Art Center is Japan's fifth art institution to be organized by the national government. It has some of the largest exhibition spaces in Japan, which vary by season and are built to uniquely fit the works showcased. Being in an international friendly city, the National Art Center routinely features works that span across time and region. Whether you're familiar with Salvador Dali or not, the exhibition is full of surprises and will keep you engaged as you enter the world of surrealism incarnate.
From the pamphlet itself to the entrance of the exhibition, the design that went into the space is something Dali would be proud of. The exhibition leads like a book, chapter 1-8 featuring the life of Salvador Dali throughout his years. There are great explanations between works in English and Japanese, along with an audio tour option. Throughout the chapters, one can see how Dali's style changes and develops. The works and sketches become more complex and larger as more people influence Salvador Dali throughout his life. Guests can learn intimate details about his life, as he fuses surrealism with many other styles and mediums in his works.
The works themselves are a beautiful puzzle of symbolism and color. Some are as crazy and scattered as the master himself, which leaves guests laughing when they come across a scene like "French Bread with Two Fried Eggs, without a plate, and on horseback." There are recurring motifs in his works which are quite whimsical and can leave one wondering what kind of world Dali depicted and what kind of world he lived in. There are also two visual rooms where his short films play for guests to see. At the end of the elaborate exhibit there's an interactive souvenir shop where many unique Dali mementos lie, just in case you want to keep a little piece of madness for yourself.
The center, which can be accessed from Roppongi's subway station, is beautifully modern from the inside out. Its undulating glass structure and wooden and concrete accents allow guests to feel inspired and at home at the same time. The Salvador Dali Exhibition is on the first floor and very easy to find, as it is at the entrance and may have a long line. Not only is Dali quite famous in Japan, but this particular exhibition features over 200 of his original works!