The Asia Collection of the MAK is one of the important collections in Europe of art and applied arts from the Asian region. It has been compiled from public and private collections during a history lasting 150 years and offers a wide-ranging view of the art history of Asia.
MAK – Museum of Applied Arts
In February 2014 the MAK Permanent Collection Asia was opened with a design concept jointly developed with the Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata. From the outset it was envisaged that Kawamata’s modular constructed room composition from 2014 would be redesigned after roughly two years. In line with a revised spatial concept by Kawamata, the position of the vitrine modules has been altered, and numerous objects from the MAK Asia Collection have been exchanged.

Kawamata has “liberated” the artworks from their vitrines and opened up entirely new perspectives on the exhibits. The vitrines he designed, which reach all the way to the ceiling and are made of unpolished wood, have been rearranged to create a new experience of the space. Embedded in this new reinstallation, the curatorial view of the art and cultures of East Asia as well as the influence of Asian art on Europe also changed from 10 May 2016.
Artistic Concept and Design:
Tadashi Kawamata 
 
Curator:
Mio Wakita, Curator, MAK Asia Collection
 
MAKtour
Every week you can explore our permanent collections anew together with our art educators. Each time they focus on something different, with fascinating stories, insights, and background information on the exhibits.
 
every Friday, 4.30 pm (in English) 
every Sunday, 11 am 
The MAK Permanent Collection ASIA is accompanied by the MAK/GUIDE ASIA. China – Japan – Korea, edited by Christoph Thun-Hohenstein and Johannes Wieninger, texts by Christoph Thun-Hohenstein and Johannes Wieninger, as well as an interview with Tadashi Kawamata, German/English, 200 pages and appr. 100 color illustrations, Vienna / Munich–London–New York: MAK / Prestel Verlag, 2014. Available at the MAK Design Shop and makdesignshop.at
Experience the MAK by listening! Explore the MAK with the digital MAK Guide. Audio pieces and high-resolution images offer you an entirely new access to MAK objects and their stories. Free of charge and without download on your mobile at guide.MAK.at
Silver at the International Design & Communication Awards (Istanbul), 2015
The new installation of the MAK Permanent Collection Asia on the museum ground floor opens up new perspectives.  “In Tadashi Kawamata the MAK has found the ideal artist for the newly conceived collection presentation. Ever since taking part in the Biennale in Venice in 1982, Tadashi Kawamata has been one of the leading contemporary artists in Asia and Europe. His works have an ephemeral character, thus are intensively related to place and time, subtly connecting the different cultures. His installation Yusuke Nakahara's Cosmology for the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial in Japan in 2012 is a reinterpretation of an art critic’s comprehensive library and inspired us to invite him to work with the MAK Asia Collection.” (Johannes Wieninger, Curator, Asia Collection)
 
From the outset it was envisaged that Kawamata’s modular constructed room composition from 2014 would be redesigned after roughly two years. In line with a revised spatial concept by Kawamata from 2016, the position of the vitrine modules had been altered, and numerous objects from the MAK Asia Collection had been exchanged in May 2016. Kawamata has “liberated” the artworks from their vitrines and opened up entirely new perspectives on the exhibits.
 
Kawamata’s ideas for the MAK Collection are based in concept on permanent change and the play of light and shade. Two large, scaffold-like showcase blocks will house the exhibits from the collection, enabling diverse viewpoints based on this shared “narrative through objects”. Kawamata will “envelop and embrace” the collection with his installation. Although seemingly chaotic at first glance and placed in confrontation to the collection objects, the contrast is only superficial. Tadashi Kawamata places the artworks in a context that keeps things moving, whether the act of observation or the observers themselves, for he says: “My projects are never finished; it seems quite natural to me that something is never finished.”



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