About CAMK

Message from the Director

What is contemporary art? It can be defined as any and every creative work fashioned out of this ever-changing world in which we live. Out of the totality of art born at any given time, there are some works which may surprise one with their atypical ideas or expressions; but these are of course only genuine reflections of our present age.
The Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto is committed to being adaptive with its handling of the rich and varied artworks out there and aims to introduce the versatility of contemporary art as it is intertwined with tradition and history.
The social role of art is being re-evaluated globally, and art culture as a whole continues to gain significance. Indeed, we now know that art does not merely animate cities, it drastically changes them. I for one am confident that art will become a more intimate part of our lives more so than ever before.
Alongside comparatively recognizable works of established artists and styles, the museum promises to offer no shortage of avant-garde exhibitions and events, where visitors can encounter radically new colors, forms, lights and sounds.
Art permeates every aspect of our lives and has an uncanny ability to unite all individuals and peoples. Our mission is to harness the power of art in order to make this city even richer and more wonderful. The Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto finds itself in the heart of the city and will beat and pulse with the people as they gather and disperse into their separate and shared lives.

Basic Policy

The Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto primarily features contemporary art pieces, offering world-class exhibitions from home and abroad, while conducting art research and engaging in educational activities. It offers an accessible and welcoming atmosphere that is open to patrons all over the world. The museum is committed to introducing artists currently active in Kumamoto and Kyushu Island, and aims to provide a space where other locally based artists can showcase their efforts to exhibit the extraordinary art and culture of Kumamoto both nationally and internationally.

  • Promoting the power of art
    As art is created by human beings, its essence cannot be separated from the familiar thoughts of everyday human life. Occasionally, art can of course stimulate to such an extent as to forever change the way one views oneself. By exhibiting such stimulating artworks, we offer our visitors the potential to transform themselves and the way they go about their lives.
  • Cultivating art appreciation
    Art is omnipresent; it permeates every inch of our living space. If we would only open our eyes we would see that art is not in some distant realm but is right here, right now. By experiencing one of the museum’s many programs, you will begin to learn how to incorporate art into your own life and let it live with you. Our educational programs provoke the insight that all things, even the city in which one lives, are themselves unique works of art.
  • Uniting people and designing cities with art
    Art has the power to unite the individual with a community. It is only through such forms as: fine arts; music; drama; design; fashion; advertisements; broadcasting and film that a city becomes a creative entity able to harness its own energy into a self-generating cycle of ingenuity. The Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto is using the art inherent in all aspects of our citizens’ lives to help make Kumamoto become ‘a city of choice’ as alluring as the artworks it produces.


June 1993 Planning for the construction of an art museum begins after the family of late artist Nobumichi Ide donates his major works to the City of Kumamoto
March1997 Kumamoto City Council announces that an art museum will be constructed as part of the Kamitori District A First Urban Redevelopment Project
April 1997 Kumamoto City government establishes the City Museum Construction Project in the then Cultural Promotion Section of its Policy Planning and Finance Bureau's Planning and Public Relations Department.
September 1997 Kumamoto City Art Museum Construction Analysis Committee founded to discuss the basic principles behind the new museum as well as its functions and activities
July 1998 Kumamoto City Art Museum Construction Analysis Committee releases its interim report detailing the construction framework for the art museum
March 1999 Kumamoto City Art Museum Construction Analysis Committee releases its final report, entitled "Design Ideals for Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto"
April 1997 Groundbreaking ceremony held for the construction of the Kamitori District A Urban Redevelopment Building, which will house the new museum
December 2001 Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto Ordinance enacted, establishing the Kumamoto City Arts and Culture Promotion Foundation as the new museum's governing body.
March 2002 Museum Establishment and Preparation Section established in the Policy Planning and Coordination Bureau (the current Planning and Financing Bureau).
October 12, 2002 Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto opens