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  • Sep 19, 2019

Mami Kataoka To Succeed Fumio Nanjo As Director Of Mori Art Museum

On September 19, Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum announced that Mami Kataoka, currently the museum’s deputy director and chief curator, will succeed Fumio Nanjo as director upon his retirement at the end of this year.

Nanjo was promoted from deputy director to director in 2006, following the departure of David Elliott. Under Nanjo’s leadership, the museum has staged numerous acclaimed exhibitions on Japanese art and architecture, including “Japan in Architecture: Genealogies of Its Transformation” (2018), which he also curated. Following his retirement, he will assume the position of special advisor to the museum.

Kataoka has served as chief curator at Mori Art Museum since it opened in 2003, working on solo presentations of Japanese and international artists including Ai Weiwei (2009 and 2012–14), Aida Makoto (2012), NS Harsha (2017), and Chiharu Shiota (2019), as well as thematic exhibitions such as “All About Laughter: Humor in Contemporary Art” (2007), among others. Beyond Mori, Kataoka was artistic director of the 2018 Biennale of Sydney. 

Kataoka remarked that she plans to build upon her predecessors’ work through fostering ties with local communities, maintaining diversity across Mori’s operations, creating physically engaging experiences at the museum, and forming partnerships with art institutions and festivals, particularly within the Asia Pacific. “I would like to see the Mori Art Museum function as a focal point for thinking together about a better future, deepening our understanding of the structure of the world in which we live and paying respect to different historical, social and cultural backgrounds, through contemporary artists whose activities span the globe,” she stated.

Nanjo wished Kataoka success, commenting: “Kataoka, as one of the few female museum directors in Japan and the country’s most internationally-active curators, is superbly equipped to guide the Mori Art Museum in the next phase of its development.” 

Kataoka will commence her new role on January 1, 2020.

Lauren Long is ArtAsiaPacific’s news and web editor.

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