Art Platform Japan: Opening Borders

Contemporary Japanese art is creating opportunities

Serena Ogawa   - 2 min read

Contemporary art is a global language; one that transcends borders. Japanese art is often the stuff relegated to art history books and museums. Seldom do art lovers see contemporary pieces from the land of the rising sun. Now, thanks to Art Platform Japan—a revolutionary new online database—contemporary Japanese art will be available internationally, with the click of a mouse.

Art Platform Japan

Brainstormed in 2018 by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs (Bunka-cho), the bilingual Art Platform Japan made its grand debut in March 2021. For the first time, people can view, learn, and interact with contemporary Japanese art as they have never been able to before. Not only will this open the floodgates for research and professionals to discover artworks; students, teachers, and even regular art lovers will now gain new opportunities and insight into the world of contemporary art in Japan.

How to access

There are three unique ways that users can access the art and information, creating a truly accessible experience for as many people as possible.

Japanese Museum Collection Search (Shuzo)

At the present time, Bunka-cho has curated about 70,000 works of art from an astounding 1,243 artists in cooperation with 85 Japanese museums and collections. This enables users to quickly gather information on specific pieces and learn more about the artwork via the search interface. The goal is to, by 2023, grant access to more than 100,000 works from 200 museums.


Japanese texts that have remained untranslated are obviously of little use to those who cannot read or understand the language; with the new text system on Art Platform Japan, users will gain access to previously untranslated texts that are in high demand. These texts will include post-1945 era art, books, critiques, papers, and the like in PDF format.


As if having an electronic library of artworks and writings was not enough, Art Platform Japan wishes to take things one step further. By providing workshops, symposiums, and webinars for the contemporary art world in Japan they aim to provide more inside and expand an international network of artists and experts.

This sustainable development will no doubt astound anyone who chooses to use the revolutionary Art Platform Japan.

Serena Ogawa

Serena Ogawa @serena.ogawa

Associate Editor for Japan Travel.