UMEDA Tetsuya

UMEDA Tetsuya wait this is my favorite part


WATARI-UM, The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, will for the first time hold an exhibition like a performance sequence.
UMEDA Tetsuya has been presenting touring works at various venues, including a line of works following his migratory solo exhibition 'AgeO' (2014) and 'New Fune' (2015~), which is a tour through the waterways at night by boat. His first solo exhibition at WATARI-UM, The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, "wait this is my favorite part", is a touring exhibition in which WATARI-UM itself, a private museum opened in September 1990, plays a leading role. The works on display are created with a focus on the architectural aspects of WATARI-UM, and as part of the tour, rooms that have not been used as exhibition spaces will be open to the public for the first time.

The exhibition is also a stage performance, with WATARI-UM as the theater. Guided by the actions of the casts, who appear at various points during the tour, visitors walk through the exhibition rooms and backyards of the facility, encountering gimmicks that transform the everyday landscape. The 50-minute tour, which will start at different times for small groups of visitors, intersect three-dimensionally with the timeline of the act of viewing, tracing the museum's pre-construction period and the memories of the actions inscribed in the building.

“There are moments when drawing a map in one's mind is accompanied by an intense realization of one's own existence. For example, it is like standing at the tip of a cape and imagining yourself standing on the sharpest point on the map. It is as if your gaze has leapt out of your body and you are looking down on your little self from above. It is the same with time and history; imagining what once existed or took place in the place where we are now makes our existence certain. It must be like drawing a map of time.

How did its unique exhibition space, which is different from the so-called "white cube," come to be? The triangular-shaped lot on which the museum is located arose from a road built for the 1964 Olympics that cut through a dense residential area. Shortly thereafter, the Watari family moved to the site, and in 1972, when the elder sister Etsuko, who now runs WATARI-UM, was in high school and the younger brother Koichi was in junior high school, the mother Shizuko opened a contemporary art gallery in their home. This was Gallerie Watari, the predecessor of WATARI-UM.

The small museum, which began as a home renovation, has served as a relay point for art from around the world. It has held over 100 exhibitions to date, with the most frequently held series of exhibitions entitled "I Love Art.” Touched by the fundamental motivation of the Watari family to let people know what they love in the places where they have lived, I decided to find my own favorites in this museum. And I would like the visitors to find their own favorites as well. That is what this exhibition is for.”

-UMEDA Tetsuya, October 2023

WATARI-UM becomes a theater for two months.

How to reserve UMEDA Tetsuya: wait this is my favorite part
Advance reservation is required. (first come, first served)
Reservations will be accepted from 12:00 on November 3 (Fri.).
Please make reservations on ArtSticker (from the following button) or at the reception desk on the first floor of WATARI-UM.
Note: Please reserve 30 minutes before the tour starts at the latest.
Note: Reservations are required for all visitors, including those with free admission and passport holders.

Tour Information
Tours start every 20 minutes from 13:00 at the following times.
Each tour takes approximately 50 minutes and is limited to six people.
13:00〜 / 13:20〜 / 13:40〜 / 14:00〜 / 14:20〜 / 14:40〜 / 15:00〜 / 15:20〜 / 15:40〜 / 16:00〜 / 16:20〜 / 16:40〜 / 17:00〜 / 17:20〜 / 17:40〜 / 18:00〜

○ Please come in clothes that are easy to move around in.
○ Check-in begins 10 minutes before the tour starts. You can wait at the shop on the 1F. Please DO NOT BE LATE for the check-in time because the tour ALWAYS starts ON TIME. If you are late, you cannot join a tour.
○ Application on the day will only be accepted if there are vacancies, and must be made at the WATARI-UM reception desk on the first floor 30 minutes prior to the start of the tour.
○ Since the tour involves stairs, please let the museum know at the time of your reservation if you are in a wheelchair or have difficulty getting up and down stairs. Our staff will take you on an alternative route.
○ Preschoolers and elementary school students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
○ A parental consent form is required for preschool children to attend a tour.

Any updates or changes to the content will be published on the official website / SNS as soon as possible.


  • UMEDA Tetsuya

    The exhibition space on the 2nd floor of WATARI-UM under construction. Custom-made concrete blocks being piled up to form an internal wall, spring 1990.

  • UMEDA Tetsuya

    The site immediately after the demolition of the former Galerie Watari and On Sundays building. Preparing the fence around the site, end of November 1988.

  • UMEDA Tetsuya

    newfune23 / Photo: Nakao Bibi

  • UMEDA Tetsuya

    Photo : Kotaro Konishi

  • UMEDA Tetsuya

    Teiden EXPO 2009 / Installation view

  • UMEDA Tetsuya

    Fukuoka Art Museum 2019 /Photo: Yamanaka Shintaro


UMEDA Tetsuya_portrait

Photo : Tanaka Chihiro

UMEDA Tetsuya

Umeda produces installations that are inspired by and incorporate existing elements found in the environment and circumstances surrounding the exhibition space including its architectural structure. In addition to exhibitions in museums and art institutions, he has produced numerous site-specific works based on the context of both urban spaces and the natural environment. Performance works are presented in Japan and abroad, such as tours inviting the audience to unfamiliar places, stage works focusing on functions found in theaters, and chorus projects without a center point. He is also internationally renowned as a leading artist in the field of sound art.

His recent solo exhibitions are “Tetsuya Umeda in BEPPU “0 Tai” (Oita, Japan, 2020-2021) “On the origin of voices” (Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan, 2019-2020), and “See, Look at Observed what Watching is” (Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, USA, 2016). Recently he has presented performance works such as “Age0, September” (Takatsuki Contmporary Theater, Osaka, Japan, 2022), “Composite: Variations/Circle” (Kunstenfestivaldesarts 2017, Brussels, Belgium), “INTERNSHIP” (Asia Cultural Center, Gwangju, South Korea, 2016 and TPAM 2018, KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theater, Yokohama, Japan).


  • SAKAI Haruka_portrait

    SAKAI Haruka

    In 2014, she joined the Osaka-based theatre company Ishinha, known for its open-air plays, and performed in their productions until its dissolution in 2017; in 2018, she participated in the film Niju no Machi / Weaving Songs of Shifting Ground (directed by KOMORI Haruka + SEO Natsumi), which was made during a residency in Rikuzen Takata, Iwate Prefecture. Recent works include kodokunorenshu's "Anonym", UMEDA Tetsuya's "Riverwalk" and "Age0, September", and Hsu Chia-Wei + Ting Tong Chang + HsienYu Cheng's "There is another capital beneath the wave" (YCAM). She has a connection and interest in works created in relation to place and land.

    Photo : Inoue Yoshikazu

  • Leo Røsdal AVDAL SHINOZAKI_portrait


    Born in 2002. Mixed with Japanese and Norwegian, born and raised in the centre of Brussels. He has been living in Oslo for two years, where he is currently based. He likes to play basketball, work out, appreciate art and watch anime. He speaks five languages (Dutch, English, Norwegian, Japanese and French). This is his second time participating in UMEDA Tetsuya's exhibition; the first time was in Fukuoka and his whole family attended.

  • Kurumi_ortrait


    Born in Tokyo, 2006. Usually at home. Draws pictures every day. Sometimes works part-time at a curry shop. Spent a week with UMEDA Tetsuya at the age of eight in “One Week Tenniscoats” (2014). Did a small exhibition of own works called “It's a Small Small World” (2021). Sometimes appears on stage with her father, who is a director. Currently exploring what to do in the future.


  • NAGANUMA Wataru_portrait

    NAGANUMA Wataru

    Actor, born 1998. While belonging to two theatre companies, Sansakusya and Nuthmique, he is extensively involved in the creation and performance of theatre, dance and other performing arts from the perspective of an actor, and writes essays, articles and other discussions on the creative process of theatre/acting. Recent productions include Sansakusya's "Strolling in Nishiohisa" (2023), Nuthmique's "Sunday Driver" (2023) and Nuthmique + HOSOI Miyu's "The Swell We Reached and the Pilgrimage of the Long Way Around" (2023).

  • WATARI Hikaru_portrait

    WATARI Hikaru

    Born in Minato-ku and raised in Aoyama. Known as one of the most gifted students in Minato City in the elementary school, but he entered a public junior high school, following the motto, The skillful hawk hides its talons. After joining the soccer club, he demonstrated his natural talent and retired with the legend of Messi for a day. In high school, he studied Russian with a passion for Dostoevsky, but in three years he finished with a grade of 2 on a scale of 10. Of course, he cannot speak Russian at all. He feels lonely in this town that is gradually changing.

  • NITA Akiyoshi_portrait

    NITA Akiyoshi

    After dropping out of Nihon University College of Art, he studied choreography at P.A.R.T.S., a contemporary dance school in Brussels, Belgium. Based in Tokyo, he has performed as a choreographer and dancer on stage, in videos, and at events. He has choreographed and performed his own works at various theaters in Japan, including Kanagawa Youth Center Studio HIKARI (Yokohama City) and SAI NO TSUNO (Ueda City), as well as at Institut Français Tokyo, Goethe-Institut Tokyo, Gallery ASAKUSA, and other venues. Belongs to the dance company Un Yamada Co. Representative of Autumn productions, an organization that produces performances of his own works.

  • AMANO Yuko_portrait

    AMANO Yuko

    Through the relationship with the world and the creatures that surround us, she creates photographic works that are concerned with the mechanisms of cognition, in which the same object is somehow perceived as something else, or different objects are perceived as the same thing, and with the memories and images that exist in the depths of the human mind. Her recent exhibitions include “The VOCA 2023 Exhibition” (The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, 2023), “See the Light” (HAGIWARA PROJECTS, Tokyo, 2022) and others. She participated in “Tetsuya Umeda in BEPPU “0 Tai” (Beppu, 2020-2021) as a photographer.

    Photo : Hristina Petrovikj

  • TATSUMI Ryohei<_portrait

    TATSUMI Ryohei

    Produces T-shirts and other items using silkscreen printing. He also produces printing-related paper, stationery and ink, and pursues the possibilities of printing. While working at a printing company, he spends the remaining two days of the week as a “two-day printer.” He organizes silkscreen workshops and printing events. As part of his activities, he participated in TOKYO ART BOOK FAIR 2023 with “FREE PAPER CENTER.”

  • IWANAKA Kanako_portrait

    IWANAKA Kanako

    Born in 1981 in Tokyo, Japan. From 2012 to 2017 she was in charge of programme planning and management at SHIBAURA HOUSE, a community space run by a private company; since 2021 she has been an editor at the web magazine Kokoko (Magazine House). Interested in expressions that emerge from everyday life and through collaboration with people and communities from diverse backgrounds, she currently works as a freelancer managing art projects and producing and editing performing arts.

    Photo : Ryuichiro Suzuki

  • KOGANEMARU Nobumitsu_portrait

    KOGANEMARU Nobumitsu

    Born in 1987 in Kanagawa. After working at Fujiwalabo in charge of designing houses and public facilities, organizing exhibition spaces and helping artists to create artworks, he established GANEMAR. He works on architectural design, dealing with miscellaneous parameters such as context and taste. Major works supported include UMEDA Tetsuya's eye of the needle (2019) and AIDA Makoto's Tokyo Castle (2021).

  • FUKANO Gentaro_portrait

    FUKANO Gentaro

    Worked in the clothing industry.
    Since 2009, he has been involved in the art world, and has developed relationships with people he has met along the way. In 2017, he formed pine tree club with friends and participated in the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2018. Slowly and honestly working with a curiosity that cannot be captured in words.

    Photo : AOKI takamasa

  • INOUE Shuji_portrait

    INOUE Shuji

    He is interested in the fragility and danger of society and the structures of society and nature that confront us, based on his own experience of 3/11. He often takes his work into public spaces where it is physically defined by or dependent on the location. He unravels the history and meaning of the space and connects it to the present through his own filter. He creates sculptures and installations from discarded and unwanted everyday objects.

  • NIIMI Taiki_portrait

    NIIMI Taiki

    Along with music production, he has created sound installation works using self-produced instruments such as music players and musical instruments. His activities also include supporting various artists and musicians in their sound and exhibition productions through programming and equipment construction. In recent years, as a member of ∈Y∋ (BOREDOMS)'s new project FINALBY(), he has participated in Fuji Rock Festival '21. He also participated in the “Reborn-Art Festival” (2022) as part of the SIDE CORE’s project.

  • ONAKA Shunsuke_portrait

    ONAKA Shunsuke

    Graphic designer/poet. Founded Calamari Inc. in 2007. Works mainly on art-related printed matter. Recent works include “Buckets, Saikachi, and Collective Neighborhood Governance - Exploring Oimawashi houses with episodes –“ (sendai mediatheque); IIYAMA Yuki’s “We Walk and Talk to Search Your True Home” (Tokyo Metropolitan Human Rights Plaza); SHIGA Lieko’s “SHIGA Lieko” (TCAA), AHA (ed.), “I remember: Re-reading 11 Years of Childcare Diaries” (remo); UMEDA Tetsuya Umeda’s “0 Tai” (T&M Projects).


  • UMEDA Tetsuya_SCENE_img

    photo by: Shuji Goto

  • UMEDA Tetsuya_SCENE_img

    photo by: Shuji Goto

  • UMEDA Tetsuya_SCENE_img

    photo by: Shuji Goto

  • UMEDA Tetsuya_SCENE_img

    photo by: Shuji Goto

  • UMEDA Tetsuya_SCENE_img

    photo by: Shuji Goto

  • UMEDA Tetsuya_SCENE_img

    photo by: Shuji Goto

  • UMEDA Tetsuya_SCENE_img

    photo by: Shuji Goto

Past exhibitions