The artist Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) turned his back on the highly developed western civilization of the end of the 19th century and made his way alone to the solitary island of Tahiti in the South Seas. It can be said that his tumultuous life is typical of the lonely wandering artist who sacrificed his life for art.

Awakened by his inner “wildness”, Gauguin searched for the “paradise” which would nurture his nascent singular imagination. His search led him to Brittany with its strong tradition of Celtic culture, Martinique with its sparkling tropical nature, Arles, in the South of France, which provided the stage for his legendary collaborative work with Van Gogh, and his two journeys to Tahiti. In this way, Gauguin continued to travel with no ending in sight. During this process, he arrived at the fundamental subject matter of human life and death, civilized and savage. The aim of Gauguin’s paintings was to express through the language of form, the deep emotions and contemplations of human existence.

His great masterpiece which was painted in Tahiti, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (1897-98), represents the consolidation of what he was attempting to achieve through his art. Along with the enigmatic title, this work represents his spiritual testament which he left behind for future generations. The exhibition will display this masterpiece along with approximately 50 works including oil paintings, prints and sculptures on loan from within Japan and abroad. Through these works we hope to reconsider again Gauguin’s art as a message for the confused world of today.


Map: Google Maps

Access: Three minutes walk from 1b exit, Takebashi Station [T-08], Subway Tozai Line