Art revisited, beauty revealed

Everybody has a soul that recognizes beauty. We experience and cherish art in our daily lives. We find beauty in paintings and sculpture, but we find it also in tools and furniture, in garden rocks and plants, in the human face. Art's place in everyday life is especially treasured in Japan. The Suntory Museum of Art wishes to bring the joy of "Art in Life" to a wider public, rededicating ourselves to a principle that has guided the Museum since its founding in 1961.

"Art revisited, beauty revealed" is the mission of the Suntory Museum of Art. It expresses our desire to link ancient art to modern art, eastern art to western art, across the boundaries of time and place and culture. Our aim in boldly presenting art of different origins is to make new connections and open our minds to new discoveries. By challenging conventional attitudes to the classification of art we hope to reveal its beauty afresh.


Our logo symbolizes the Museum's mission. It was designed by Kaoru Kasai and Tomohiko Nagakura, art directors of Sun-Ad Company Limited. The motif is the Japanese phonetic hiragana "mi," an adaptation of the Chinese ideographic kanji meaning "beauty or art." By combining a Japanese character with its Chinese ancestor in a modern logo design, we aspire to follow the wisdom and artistic spirit of hiragana. The source of the calligraphic "mi" is the Joruri emaki, a scroll painting in the Suntory Museum of Art's collection.

  • Kaoru Kasai

    Art Director,
    Sun-Ad Company Limited.

  • Nagakura Tomohiko

    Art Director,
    Sun-Ad Company Limited.

Museum design

The Suntory Museum of Art located in the green-rich section of Tokyo Midtown was designed by the internationally renowned architect, Kengo Kuma. Based on a concept of "Japanese Modernism" combining the traditional and contemporary elements of Japan, its exterior is finished with louvers of a white-porcelain look that adds a sense of transparency to the appearance. The interior toned with wood and Japanese paper gives natural warmth with the soft light often found in traditional Japanese settings, and creates a soothing and inviting atmosphere as a "parlor" of the city, the architect's design goal. The gallery covering the 3rd and 4th floors provides approximately 1,000 m2 exhibition space. The 10m high stairwell is equipped with a lighting control system inspired by an old-fashioned lattice window design known as "musougoushi" and enables the complete blocking of sunlight if an exhibition requires. The building also offers a hall on the 6th floor for lectures and events such as education programs or for receptions; and a tea-ceremony room, "Genchoan , designed to utilize about 70% of the old museum's tea-ceremony room. The museum shop & cafe, can be found on the 3rd floor for a leisurely pastime after a gallery tour. Also, the floor is partially constructed with recycled whiskey casks throughout the museum.

Kengo Kuma, Architect