5 May 2023


Film poster for Tokyo Stories, with a series of artworks featuring in the film behind the film's title

Exhibition on Screen is the award-winning production company that brings the world’s best-loved art to audiences around the globe.  Inspired by the Ashmolean’s 2021 blockbuster exhibition, Tokyo: Art & Photography, the latest release captures the exhibition for the big screen, and features interviews with contemporary artists, curators and footage shot on location in Tokyo.

Tokyo Stories explores four centuries of stunning and unique artworks from artists immersed in the city that constantly reinvents itself. From the delicate woodblock prints of Hokusai and Hiroshige to Pop Art posters, contemporary photography, Manga, film, and new artworks being created on the streets, Tokyo Stories is a thrilling encounter with one of the world’s most vibrant and innovative capitals. This fast-paced, dynamic new film gives you a fascinating insight into how Tokyo has become a cultural hotspot and one of the most extraordinary cities on the planet.

 Although largely shot in Tokyo, the film also focuses on the Ashmolean’s 2021 exhibition, Tokyo: Art & Photography which coincided with the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics. The exhibition included new commissions by contemporary artists, loans from leading Japanese galleries and museums, as well as treasures from the Ashmolean’s own extensive collections. The film captures the galleries and features interviews with exhibition curators and experts Clare Pollard and Lena Fritsch, and Ashmolean Director, Alexander Sturgis. It also includes exclusive conversations with leading contemporary artists: renowned photographers Moriyama Daido and  Mika Ninagawa; Pop Artist Keiichi Tanaami; street artist Enrico Isamu Oyama; installation artist Yuko Mohri and the experimental Chim-Pom collective, all of whom showed works in the Ashmolean exhibition. 

Tokyo Stories is brought to you by the renowned production company, Exhibition on Screen, the same team behind last year’s Pissarro: Father of Impressionism (based on the Ashmolean’s 2022 exhibition) and the current record-breaking blockbuster at the Rijksmuseum, Vermeer: The Greatest Exhibition. These films and Tokyo Stories are directed by award-winning director, David Bickerstaff and produced by BAFTA winning producer and director, Phil Grabsky.

Dr Xa Sturgis, Director of the Ashmolean, says: ‘Working with Exhibition on Screen over the past couple of years has provided the Ashmolean with an extraordinary platform to reach new audiences worldwide – via the cinema.  The Pissarro film was a wonderful opportunity to welcome visitors from 20 countries to the museum and exhibition – people who would never have been able to visit us in person.

‘Tokyo: Art & Photography was a project which took many years to come to fruition, but visitor numbers were limited by the pandemic. So, it’s especially rewarding to have captured this exciting and ambitious show on film forever.’

Phil Grabsky, adds: ‘Once again, it has been an absolute joy working with the Ashmolean. We work with so many major international galleries & museums and I can honestly say none exceed the Ashmolean in enthusiasm, support and co-operation for the film we have in production. Tokyo Stories is an excellent example of that – from the first meeting through production up to marketing, the Ashmolean has been pro-active, reactive and on the ball.

‘We look forward to working with them to ensure this film is seen throughout the world before thinking about our next project together.’




Press Office

Claire Parris
Press & PR Manager, Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums
07833 384 512

Sarah Holland
Press Assistant, Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums
01865 278 285


Images for editorial use are available to download here


Exhibition on Screen:

Tokyo Stories screenings:

The Ashmolean Museum is the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology, founded in 1683. Our world-famous collections range from Egyptian mummies to contemporary art, telling human stories across cultures and across time.

Tokyo: Art & Photography was a major exhibition open at the Ashmolean Museum 29 Jul 2021 to 3 Jan 2022. The exhibition was a celebration of one of the world’s most creative, dynamic and thrilling cities, giving an opportunity to explore Japan’s capital city through the vibrant arts it has generated over 400 years. Tokyo: Art & Photography, an exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum

Kabuki Legends is a free exhibition at the Ashmolean, open until 4 February 2024, showcasing Japanese artist Takahashi Hiromitsu‘s dynamic, colourful prints of exciting moments in kabuki, Japan’s traditional dance-drama. Kabuki Legends at the Ashmolean Museum, Gallery 29, until 4 February 2024


Film poster for Tokyo Stories, with a series of artworks featuring in the film behind the film's title