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The Scary Japanese Museum Where Kids Can Mess With Mona Lisa

“Kids should be seen and not heard” isn’t a rule the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokoyo wants to enforce at its kid-oriented Ghosts, Underpants and Stars (three keywords that symbolize children, according to organizers) summer exhibit. When curators approached Torafu Architects to create a ghost house for the exhibition, the design brief was simple–touching, running, and noise are fair play. “The curator of the exhibition wanted to teach the normal rules of the museum paradoxically,” says Koichi Suzuno of Torafu Architects. Over a 10-month-long design period, Torafu designed a space with a “backstage” that allows children to climb behind the walls of the exhibit and poke their head inside the picture frames, terrifying their fellow kid art connoisseurs.


The Ghosts, Underpants and Stars exhibit runs until September 8, 2013 and is also host to Transformation Corner, where children collect a token mustache and bizarre clothes to wear, Underpants, a space transformed into a children’s book, and Stars, where kids project constellations of their own creation into a night’s sky. “We wanted to make the haunted house as interactive as possible,” says Suzuno. “Children ran into the backroom and screamed. They can’t even touch the frame in a normal museum.”

Click through the slide show above for images and insight into the exhibit.

[Images courtesy of Fuminari Yoshitsugu | RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) | Michel Urtado | AMF-DNPartcom]IH