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Japan / Tokyo

Listening to the Lines at the Forum

The creative line

As a pendant to the exhibition Simple Forms: Contemplating Beauty at the Mori Art Museum, the Forum invites viewers to consider the many manifestations of that simplest, fundamental motif: line. Listening to the Lines presents a collection of items of all kinds, exploring the rich variety and universality of line. 

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Listening to the Lines at the Forum
© Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle - François Farges

Omnipresent in nature, line is also common to drawing, calligraphy, music, cartography and geography. A central motif in art, science and everyday life, line features in all cultures, as a means of representation (defining form), or support, even as an object of study in its own right. At the Forum, the exhibition Listening to the Lines offers a selection of items featuring pre-existing lines in their natural state – a fertile imaginative source – together with works highlighting the gradual appearance of their own trace.  

The intriguing striations on stones collected by Roger Caillois, a trompe-l’œil landscape work by Xu Bing, ephemeral drawings executed in nature by Akiko and Masako Takada, or structural motifs by Carsten Nicolai, based on mathematical formulae, are presented in dialogue with works by Asako Tokitsu, Niele Toroni and Ignacio Uriarte. A linear bookshelf specially created by the Japanese architecture duo Atelier Bow-Wow offers a bibliography of essays and catalogues for public consultation, extending beyond the scope of the works on show. 

Just as Simple Forms: Contemplating Beauty stresses the rich diversity and fascination of minimalist simplicity across historical periods and cultures, so Listening to the Lines invites us to apprehend line in all its evident simplicity, fragility and potential complexity. Visitors are invited, quite literally to ‘listen’ to the lines and to experiment with the scenarios they offer. 

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Le Forum, Tokyo, Japan

5-4-1, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061,

Monday - Saturday 11am - 8pm, Sunday 11am - 7pm


Curator : Reiko Setsuda