That Which Bears the Supreme Name of Chocolate

2023.10.28(Sat.) - 2023.11.3(Fri.)



2023.10.28(Sat.) - 2023.11.3(Fri.)


21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
People’s Gallery A



For More Information:

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Phone: +81-76-220-2800

Event Overview
Although Kanazawans are often thought to have a fondness for tea ceremony and Japanese sweets, the rate of chocolate consumption in the city is among the highest in Japan. In recent years, due in part to the emergence of young chocolatiers who are producing highly distinctive chocolate, Kanazawa’s food culture has assumed even greater depth. Through displays of crafts related to chocolate, a food that is beloved by people throughout the world, curator-guided gallery tours with sign-language interpretation, and other events, this exhibition, That Which Bears the Supreme Name of Chocolate, conveys the charms of Kanazawa, the Town of Chocolate.

Exhibition Summary
The scientific name for the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao (named by the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus) is derived from a Greek word meaning “food of the gods.” Cacao, which originated in the highlands of Central and South America, can be traced back to the Mayans, who flourished in Guatemala prior to the Common Era, and the Aztecs, who inhabited what is today Mexico. Cacao was so valuable that it boosted the status of money. Later, in the 17th century during the Age of Exploration, cacao was introduced to Europe by the Spanish, and gradually took hold as a luxury item and nutritional drink among court nobles and the social elite. Cacao was combined with sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and other ingredients to make chocolate, which came to be seen as a nec plus ultra (“nothing further beyond”). This led to greater availability, from the upper classes to common people, and in the modern era, chocolate grew even more widespread, making it a beloved food among people all over the world.
In this exhibition, we examine the introduction of cacao as seen in rare books and documents from Japanese collections, and while tracing the history and culture of the seed’s acceptance, we also showcase works of contemporary art related to chocolate and crafts that bear a resemble to chocolate. We are also pleased to present the works of Stéphane Leroux, who uses unique techniques to incorporate chocolate into his artistic creations, for the first time in Kanazawa. Chocolate is available in a diverse array of types, enabling us to choose the variety we want based on our individual taste. It is a valued gift that brings joy both to the giver and to the receiver. Chocolate provides us with an opportunity to give something special and also to take part in a form of contemporary gift giving.

Kurosawa Hiromi
Chief Curator

The 38th National Cultural Festival The 23rd National Art and Cultural Festival for Persons with Disabilities Ishikawa Hyakumangoku Cultural Festival 2023 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa Special Exhibition

Exhibiting artists and designers (in Japanese syllabary order)

  • Hiroshi Sugimoto, Wood box, 2004
    glass, wood
    Collection of the artist
    ©Hiroshi Sugimoto / Courtesy of Gallery Koyanagi

    Hiroshi Sugimoto

  • Vik Muniz, Picture of Chocolate: Diver (After Siskind), 1997
    chibacrhrome print
    Collection of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    ©Vik Muniz / VAGA, New York & JASPAR, Tokyo, 2018

    Vik Muniz

  • Takuo Nakamura, TATARA, 1995
    Collection of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    ©Takuo Nakamura
    photo:Taku Saiki

    Takuo Nakamura

  • Up:
    [Reference image]
    Stéphane Leroux, Corten
    Collection of the artist
    ©Stéphane Leroux
    photo: Tom Swalens

    [Reference image]
    Stéphane Leroux, Matrices
    Collection of the artist
    ©Stéphane Leroux
    photo: Tom Swalens

    Stéphane Leroux

  • Otto Künzli, Das Schweizer Gold, brooch, 1983,
    cardboad, acrylic
    Collection of the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
    ©photo: Otto Künzli, VG Bild-Kunst

    Otto Künzli

  • Milly Stevens, Gardeners Chocolate Box, 1981
    silk, hand and machine embroidery/ framed
    Collection of the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
    ©Milly Stevens

    Milly Stevens

  • Ryosuke Harashima, A Day in the Harvest, 2021
    copper, Japanese folk tool, color glass(yellow)
    Collection of SOMEWHERE TOKYO
    ©Ryosuke Harashima 
    photo: Daisuke Yoshio

    Ryosuke Harashima

  • Yuna Yagi, STILL CHOCO 01, 2023
    print on paper
    H72×W48 cm
    Collection of the artist
    ©Yuna Yagi

    Yuna Yagi

  • Haruka Sotome, melt, 2021
    laqquer, linen
    Collection of the artist
    ©Haruka Sotome
    photo: Kichiro Okamura

    Haruka Sotome

  • [Reference image]
    Daigo Ohmura, fruits and seed, 2018
    bronze, nuts
    Collection of the artist
    ©︎Daigo Ohmura

    Daigo Ohmura

  • Yuma Kano

    Yuma Kano, Rust Harvest, 2022
    acrylic resin, steel, copper, rust
    Collection of the artist
    “Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design 5th Anniversary: Design Scope”
    ©Studio Xxingham (Licenced under CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0)
    ©Yuma Kano

  • Okashimaru

    Okashimaru, Delicious Crystals, 2023
    agar, sugar beet, cacao nibs
    Collection of the artist

  • Tokyo Kodo, Essence de cacao, 2023
    Collection of the artist
    ©Tokyo Kodo

    Tokyo Kodo

  • Masaru Suzuki,Overlay, 2023
    silkscreen, cotton
    Collection of the artist
    ©︎Masaru Suzuki
    photo: Masaaki Inoue, Bouillon

    Masaru Suzuki


Organized by:

Agency for Cultural Affairs; the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare; Ishikawa Prefecture; the Ishikawa Prefectural Board of Education; Kanazawa City; the Kanazawa City Board of Education; the Ishikawa Hyakumangoku Cultural Festival 2023 Executive Committee; the Ishikawa Hyakumangoku Cultural Festival 2023 Kanazawa Executive Committee; and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Kanazawa Art Promotion and Development Foundation).

In Cooperation with:

Executive Committee of Chocolate Town Kanazawa; J. MAEDA Co., Ltd.; Puratos Japan Co., Ltd.; and Dandelion Chocolate Japan, Inc.

Patronized by: