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Special Exhibition “Megalomania Botany”

June 11, 2019

Event Details

Event Type Exhibition
Intended for General public / Enrolled students / Applying students / International students / Alumni / Companies / Elementary school students / Junior high school students / High school students / University students / Academic and Administrative Staff
Date(s) May 21, 2019 — October 6, 2019
Location Other campuses/off-campus
Venue  Intermediatheque 2F [GREY CUBE]
[Address] KITTE 2-3F, 2-7-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
[Access] JR lines and Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line Tokyo Station. Direct access from the Marunouchi Underground Pathway.
[Opening Hours] 11:00 - 18:00 (Open until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays) Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
*Opening hours may change.
[Closed on] Mondays (or the following Tuesday if Monday is a National Holiday) and Year-end holidays. May close irregularly.
Entrance Fee No charge
Registration Method No advance registration required
Contact +81 3 5777 8600 (Hello Dial)
Simply huge. No more explanation needed.
They fascinate and overwhelm us. A single reason to that: their sheer size.

What happens when we bring objects from the natural world into a museum exhibition space? The intent of the present exhibition is to experiment with this issue, by making dried specimens out of huge plant leaves, framing them and exhibiting them. When showing huge leaves as a pictorial work, the gigantism proper to the natural world becomes evident. However, with tropical plant leaves reaching a total length of five metres from the stalk to the tip of the leaf, it is almost impossible to produce a dried specimen which preserves the leaf’s original form. Even if that were possible, the specimen being too large, its conservation and management would be most impractical. For this reason, botanists have cut huge leaves in several parts so that they fit a standard sheet, conserving such specimens as a set. However, such a method does not convey the scale of the specimen. We have opted for a different method: to exhibit the wonders of nature full size, without reducing them, and by retaining their original form. By resorting to such a method, we can directly convey the productive power and the gigantism proper to living organisms, without the need for words. Still, the actual process of transforming the raw plants into specimens was much lengthier than expected. We needed to standardize the thickness of the plant specimen, and dry it promptly. The fruits of such a process, seemingly easy but most difficult in practice, are shown here, for you to appreciate not only the strange forms proper to gigantic leaves, but also the transience of these organisms.


[Organizer] The University Museum, the University of Tokyo (UMUT)

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