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Peter Doig in The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

Peter Doig’s first solo exhibition in Japan is a good opportunity to learn about both his early and recent works. Peter Doig (1959-) is a Scottish artist who has been named one of the most important artists in the world today. His paintings combine diverse imagery from the compositions and motifs of works by modern painters such as Gaugin, Van Gogh, Matisse and Munch, with his own personal memories and images. It brings a unique experience of seeing a landscape that is somehow Deja Vue to us, but actually no one has seen it before. Each artwork has a storyline, that allows each visitor to imagine various things, so you may spend more time looking at them. Such exhibition style makes you feel relaxed.

The exhibition was temporarily closed immediately after the opening on February 26, but after the reopening, the closing date was extended from the original June 14th to October 11th. Due to the extension of the closing date, we have a chance and we’d like to visit it as often as possible.


Chapter 1 : Into the Woods 1986-2002

Peter Doig’s artworks are filled with fantastical scenes, layered with images what he sees in his daily life and his own experience. He creates his artworks with developing his imagination, inflated by the composition and motifs of modern painters that everyone knows, the scenes and advertisements of movies, sceneries of Canada and Trinidad and Tobago where he lived.

There are also works inspired by newspaper advertisements at ski areas in Niseko, Japan, and the movie “Tokyo Story” by Yasujiro Ozu, which makes it feel close to us Japanese people. Watching Peter Doig’s work awakens the various memories and experiences that we each have, which gives us new power of imagination. It’s a very unique experience which you can get only at this exhibition.


Chapter 2 : By the Sea 2002 –

In 2002, Peter Doig relocated his production base from London to Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago. His style also changes from a relatively thick screen to oil paint or water-based paint that is thinly painted so that the canvas can be seen through. The colors he paints also show a vivid contrast, depicting a tropical island near the equator.

We may get too relaxed and overlook it, but there is also a unique story. For example, in “The Night Bathers,” the story is written in the caption near the work, and in “Rain in the Port of Spain (White Oak),” if you carefully look at what is drawn on the left edge of the screen, you will be able to read, which will probably make you smile.


Chapter 3 : In the Studio : studiofilmclub as a Community 2003 –

Peter Doig regularly hosts movie screenings with his friends, where you can see the posters he drew. Many of the posters are of excellent movies we have watched too, and we can infer from the drawings how he himself felt about each one. Scenes from movies we’ve seen before are portrayed in a different way than we had, so the last chapter is a space where we can fully enjoy the unexpectedness of the movie and his unique perspective.

The enjoyment of artworks over three meters wide, such as those exhibited in the Chapter 1 and 2, cannot be conveyed through a flyer or the small screen of a smartphone. It is also an exhibition that offers lot of unique experience, such as the drawings for the movie announcement in Chapter 3. We recommend visiting this exhibition at least once.



Peter Doig


February 26 – October 11, 2020


The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Art Museum Special Exhibition Gallery (1st floor)


3-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8322

Official Website


Opening Hours

*Last admission : 30 minutes before closing.


Mondays ( August 10 and September 21, 2020 ), and August 11 and September 23, 2020


Adults - 1,700yen
University / College students - 1,100yen
High School Students - 600yen
Online purchase: チケットぴあ(Ticket Pia)
*only available in Japanese.