Diverse animal forms created from the human imagination
The indigenous tribes of the Amazon and Xingu River basins in northern Brazil carve benches from single pieces of wood. These unique sculptural works adopt both animal and functional forms and are covered in distinctive geometric patterns. Benches were cultural and social symbols within indigenous communities, closely connected to tribes’ ways of life, traditions, and distinct mythologies, and functioned as objects for everyday use or carrying ceremonial significance on special occasions such as shaman ceremonies or the celebration of weddings. Today, tribal artists unconstrained by function or tradition are creating even more diverse and free-ranging expressions, as indigenous people absorb influences from the outside world and seek their own identity in their view of nature.
This exhibition presents around 90 benches of the Brazilian indigenous peoples from the BEĨ Collection, exploring the rich expressions of human imagination that these forms and their unique sensibility represent.
About the BEĨ Collection
BEI is a publishing company focusing on art and architecture based in São Paolo, Brazil. The company name BEĨ means “a little further” in an indigenous Brazilian language, reflecting the company’s principles of striving to challenge and overcome limitations. As part of its publishing work, BEĨ began collecting benches produced by indigenous peoples more than 15 years ago. They recognize the indigenous works not as simple artifacts, but as contemporary artistic expressions unique to Brazil, and seek to appraise and spread awareness of their sculptural beauty.
This exhibition is the first of its kind worldwide and features works that have been carefully selected from the company’s collection of nearly 300 pieces.
Summer night museum (evening opening hours)
From 7/20~8/31, the museum is open every Friday until 9:00 PM. Admission is free for students after 5:00 PM, while regular visitors may enjoy the reduced group price of ¥960.
Benches of the Brazilian Indigenous Peoples: Human Imagination and Wildlife
Saturday, June 30 – Monday, Septmber 17
Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
5-21-9, Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tel +81(0)3 3443 0201
Second and fourth Wednesday (7/11,25,8/8,22,9/12）
10:00–18:00 （Last admission 17:30）
*Open until 9:00 PM every Friday night between 7/20~8/31 (last entry at 8:30 PM)
|College and vocational students||General¥960||Advance/Group¥760|
|Junior high and high school students||General¥600||Advance/Group¥480|
|Senior(65 and over)||General¥600||Advance/Group¥480|
Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
With the special cooperation of
BEĨ collection which is sponsored by CBMM – Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineracao
Embassy of Brazil in Tokyo
With the cooperation of
Takeo Co., Ltd.
With the co-sponsorship of
Top from left ： Uruhu / MEHINAKU/ Jaguar, Unknown / KUIKURO/ Monkey, Kanari / KUIKURO / Curassow, Aparitá / MEHINAKU/ Harpy eagle
Bottom：Unknown / WAIWAI / Geometric pattern, Unknown / KARAJÁ / Geometric pattern, Mawaia / MEHINAKU / Monkey, Unknown / KAYABI / Tapir
All works except for ⓒ BEĨ collection / by Rafael Costa