【Toyama】Toyama Glass Art Museum – Masterpieces of contemporary glass art


In an earlier article about the TOYAMA Kirari complex facility in Toyama City, I introduced Toyama City Public Library’s beautiful architecture in pictures.

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TOYAMA Kirari also houses the “Toyama Glass Art Museum” in the same building as the library and this time, please let me present you the Glass Museum, also designed by world-famous architect Kengo Kuma.

The culmination of “Glass City Toyama” project

The Toyama Glass Art Museum was opened in August 2015 as the culmination of a community development project called “Glass City Toyama”.

Toyama is famous for producing and selling medicinal drugs and has a long history of the Japanese pharmaceutical industry. Since the Meiji era, glass bottle factories for medicines have been operating in the region and the manufacturing of medicine bottles has evolved into a wider production of glass object and art.

Permanent exhibitions are held in several spaces, including the “Collection Exhibition” on the 4th floor, which displays contemporary glass art works collected by Toyama City over thirty years.

The “Glass Art Passage” located on the 2nd and 4th floors, shows about 50 works by artists related to Toyama, exhibited on the walls and in the library.

The “Glass Art Garden” on the 6th floor, is dedicated to an installation (spatial art) work by Contemporary Glass Artist Dale Chihuli.

Special exhibitions are also held regularly in other galleries of the Museum, so it’s worth checking ahead and planning enough time to visit.

Dale Chihuly, the master of contemporary glass art

On the 6th floor – the top floor – works by Dale Chihuly, a master of contemporary glass art, are on display. I entered the space without any thought and it was a wonderful surprise: all the works were breathtaking and I was impressed by the master’s skills.

“Reed”, a beautiful blue work that represents reeds made of wood from Toyama prefecture, has a big impact.

In “Toyama Persian Ceiling”, where glass shapes reminiscent of sea creatures and angels are spread all over the ceiling, not only each piece of work is beautiful in itself, but the light overflowing from the ceiling through the glass works is very colorful and creates a comforting feeling.

“Toyama Float Boat” has 117 blown-glass floats on a bamboo boat used for fishing in Toyama. This float reminds me of the yo-yo scoop that I often see at summer festivals in Japan, and I felt a little nostalgic.
Here, instead of using the ceiling, the scenery is beautifully reflected on the floor, creating a mirror-effect.

It’s a great deal to see this for 200 yen! !! I took a lot of pictures and would love to show you all beautiful works, but unfortunately it is not allowed to post on the Internet, so please come and see the real thing by yourself!

About Dale Chihuly

Born in Tacoma, Washington in 1941, Dale Chihuly first encountered glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating from college, he entered the University of Wisconsin in 1965 where he studied in the first glass art program in the United States.

The works produced by Chifuly are widely known, including the 1970s “cylinder” and “basket”, the 1980s “seafoam”, “makia”, “Venetian”, “Persian”, the 1990s. “Niijima Float”, “Chandelier”, “Fiori” in the 2000s, etc.

Toyama Glass Art Museum

Address5-1 Nishi-machi, Toyama-shi, TOYAMA
Open Hour9:30 – 18:00 (until 20:00 on Friday & Saturday)
CloseThe 1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month
New Year Period
Admission Fee< Permanent Collection >
【Adult / College student】200 yen
【High school student and younger】Free
* Admission fee for Special Exhibitions will vary.