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Johannes Wieninger







1954 born in Vienna/Austria


1972 to 1980 Studying Art history /Archaeology at the University Vienna (PhD)


1982 Postgraduate Fellowship at the Forum Austriaco di Cultura a Roma


since July 1982 member of the research staff at the MAK-Wien


seit 1986 Curator of the Collection East Asia and Islam, now Asia Collection


1990 to 1991 Fellowship granted by the Japan Foundation in Tokyo

 Guest curator at the Museum of Western Art and at the Tokyo National Museum


1993 Reopening of the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art

Installation of the new gallery for East Asia


1995 Invitation for a research visit at  Nichibunken/International Research Center

 for Japanese Studies in Kyoto


since 1995 numerous study trips to China, Tibet, India, Japan, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia as well as USA und european countries


2000 - 2017 Sworn court Expert for Asian Art


2001 to 2009 Senior Examiner for "World Culture" with "The International Baccalaureate (IB)"


2001 bis 2006 and since 2017 visiting lecturer at the  Universities Vienna and Innsbruck

since March 2019 retired






for a complete list, please see the german page


these are “the top ten”:






China – Japan – Korea

Artistic Concept and Design: Tadashi Kawamata

The Asia Collection of the MAK is one of the important collections in Europe of art and applied arts from the Asian region. It has been compiled from public and private collections during a history lasting 150 years and offers a wide-ranging view of the art history of Asia.

The new installation of the MAK Permanent Collection Asia on the museum ground floor opens up new perspectives.
 “In Tadashi Kawamata the MAK has found the ideal artist for the newly conceived collection presentation. Ever since taking part in the Biennale in Venice in 1982, Tadashi Kawamata has been one of the leading contemporary artists in Asia and Europe. His works have an ephemeral character, thus are intensively related to place and time, subtly connecting the different cultures. His installation Yusuke Nakahara's Cosmology for the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial in Japan in 2012 is a reinterpretation of an art critic’s comprehensive library and inspired us to invite him to work with the MAK Asia Collection.” (Johannes Wieninger, Curator, Asia Collection)
Kawamata’s ideas for the MAK Collection are based in concept on permanent change and the play of light and shade. Two large, scaffold-like showcase blocks will house the exhibits from the collection, enabling diverse viewpoints based on this shared “narrative through objects”. Kawamata will “envelop and embrace” the collection with his installation. Although seemingly chaotic at first glance and placed in confrontation to the collection objects, the contrast is only superficial. Tadashi Kawamata places the artworks in a context that keeps things moving, whether the act of observation or the observers themselves, for he says: “My projects are never finished; it seems quite natural to me that something is never finished.”

Curator Johannes Wieninger, Curator, Asia Collection
Artistic Concept and Design Tadashi Kawamata

The MAK Permanent Collection ASIA is accompanied by the MAK/GUIDE ASIA. China – Japan – Korea, edited by Christoph Thun-Hohenstein and Johannes Wieninger, texts by Christoph Thun-Hohenstein and Johannes Wieninger, as well as an interview with Tadashi Kawamata, German/English, ca. 200 pages and appr. 100 color illustrations, Vienna / Munich–London–New York: MAK / Prestel Verlag, 2014. Available at the MAK Design Shop





Nippon Chinbotsu

Japan Sinks. A Manga

Wed, 16.01.2013–Sun, 21.04.2013


The MAK exhibition Nippon Chinbotsu. Japan Sinks. A Manga is dedicated to the visual aesthetics and graphic-art quality of manga, which have risen into a mass phenomenon of contemporary culture far beyond the isles of Japan. Rather than being descriptive, the expressive visual medium Manga mingles fiction and reality.
Ishiki took the inspiration for his manga series from the best-selling novel Nippon Chinbotsu, first published in 1973, by science fiction writer Sakyou Komatsu (1931–2011).

Beginning with the predicted doom of Japan, which, according to one scientist, is about to be entirely destroyed within a little less than one year by earthquakes, Ishiki’s manga interweaves several narrative strands, of which the two most important address the questions of if—and how—the Japanese population can be evacuated and eventually rescued, as well as of how the threatening uncontrollable destruction of a high-technology nation might be averted.

The MAK exhibition focuses on the graphic-art qualities of Nippon Chinbotsu. The genesis of this manga is traced through original drawings, from the first sketches of ideas to the different stages of the fine drawings and to the printed books. Animated films make it possible to “look over Ishiki‘s shoulder” and to witness the meticulousness and patience with which he developed his manga. Selected blown-up graphic-art prints bring out the filmic element of the originally much smaller comic strips.
Tokohiko Ishiki’s manga drawing is characterized by his free and dynamic pencil work. Ishiki first made a name for himself as a sports manga artist. His breakthrough was a series named Derby Jockey (1999–2004), which made him a successful manga artist known well beyond the borders of Japan. Nippon Chinbotsu was published as weekly comic-strip sequels in a total of 15 volumes from 2006 to 2009.





CHAWAN - Tea Bowls

Wed, 14.10.2009–Mon, 05.04.2010


The history of tea is directly linked to the history of the tea bowl becoming an aesthetic object. Ceramics from the eight to the twenty-first century – tea bowls from the MAK Collection from China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam as well as loans from private collections – demonstrate that diversity was discovered in the reduction of form to its essentials.

At the center of the exhibition space, Viennese artist Heinz Frank will respond to the calm and simple aesthetic of the displayed objects with his installation “Door of Eternity”, thereby also expressing his spiritual connection to East Asian formalisms.

Beyond being simple items of use, the chawan were made into sculptural
works of art whose designs best expressed the cultivated relationship people had with the object. No one bowl matches another; each one is special and is treated like a personal treasure. Each even bears its own name – and the name of the artist who creates it remains known over the course of time. The Raku masters in Kyoto were the first to sign their works, beginning in the late 16th century, with “Raku” (meaning “enjoyment” or “ease”). The exhibition at the MAK features red and black objects, including ones by other ceramics makers who worked in the technique and style of Raku ware, which is hand formed. The development of new bowl variants continues today.

Ceramics made from the 16th century to the present bear witness to the unbroken tradition which is still being practiced by famous artists today. Present-day examples include the rather crudely fired chawan from the Japanese city of Bizen, which in recent years have enjoyed renewed popularity as tea ceremony implements.
Folder  (pdf)

Catalogue (pdf)




Art as a Message. Asia and Europe 1500-1700

Wed, 03.06.2009–Sun, 27.09.2009


Developments in European and Asian art across two centuries are presented in the sense of a “global laboratory”, in which the opposition and cooperation of cultures leads to an occupation with one’s own traditions.

The exhibition “GLOBAL:LAB. Art as a Message. Asia and Europe 1500–1700” concentrates from a historical perspective on a theme that is just as current now as it was then: art as a means of communication for cultures. “GLOBAL:LAB” thematizes epochs that although far from our own in terms of history, are closely related to ours. They are times with
contradictions in many areas, full of inventions and reciprocal discoveries. The exhibition uses a modern language, familiar themes in new perspectives, and does not shy away from confrontations. The presentation is meant to activate the development of a non-European centered point of view. By characterizing the unique features of every cultural circle, the contacts and confrontations with the Other visible in the art of this era become comprehensible for the beholder. The core of the exhibition is the idea of viewing the “Hamzanama“ – a Mogul manuscript from the sixteenth century – as one of the key works of an epoch in which the great cultures of Europe and Asia increasingly came into contact. The artistic forms of expression of the Islamic world are shaped not only by ornaments, but as the Hamzanama shows, also by the narrative and visual depictions of its protagonists. The sixty miniatures preserved at the MAK – the largest cohesive collection of the manuscript – can be seen for the first time as a whole, together with the text pages. Selected objects relevant to the period from the assets of the MAK collection and loans from European museums document developments in the years 1500 to 1700 – in the areas of history, art, crafts, science, trade, etc – and provide a comprehensive overview of the culturally defining exchange taking place at this time.

Themes included in the exhibition Representation of royalty in Asia and Europe. The new view of the world: trade and diplomacy. Art networks. The depiction of the foreigner. The human at the heart of art (Europe). Ornament and narrative (Orient). Symbol and landscape (East Asia).

Curators Johannes Wieninger, MAK Curator Asia; Angela Völker, MAK Curator Textiles and Carpets; Scientific cooperation Brigitte Moser

Catalogue "GLOBAL:LAB. Art as a Message. Asia and Europe 1500-1700", edited by Peter Noever, with contributions by Bert Fragner, Barbara Frischmuth, Salman Rushdie, Wheeler M. Thackston, Angela Völker, Johannes Wieninger a.o., 368 pages, 260 color illustrations, MAK Vienna/Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern, 2009.€ 49,80
Vorwort deutsch (pdf)
Preface english (pdf)





BACKSIDE - Hidden signs of the objects
19.09.2007 - 24.03.2008
MAK-Schausammlung Asien

Link: Picasaweb

At the center of this unusual show stands the hidden aesthetics of the back, which tells often more about the object and its history than the so-called “beautiful side”. The production processes can be read accurately, marks, stamps and inscriptions provide detailed information, but may also lead them astray.





Art of the Silkroad
24.10.2001 - 26.05.2002
MAK-Schausammlung Asien

Link: Picasaweb


The Silk Road was the most important trade route between Europe and the Far East Asia since ancient times. On this way Buddhism spread from India through Gandhara to China, Korea and Japan. Between the 4th and 11th centuries a Buddhist civilization (rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century) originated in the oasis states along the northern route. Significant sculptures and wall paintings - on loan from the Museum of Indian Art in Berlin - witness the encounter and coexistence of different  cultures.

CD-Catalogue: Johannes Wieninger: Fremde. Kunst der Seidenstraße im MAK. 
with a contribution of Marianne Yaldiz. Vienna: MAK 2001.





Spuren und Objekte der Siebold-Reisen


Link: Picasaweb


Following up the large Siebold exhibition in Tokyo and Osaka, the MAK organized jointly with the Vienna Museum of Ethnology the exhibition "Japan yesterday", which retraced the travels of the two Siebolds - Philipp Franz and his son Henry and their collections brought together and acquired at that time. Complemented by valuable works on loan from the Museum of Ethnology in Leiden - these included mainly watercolors by Katsushika Hokusai - this show gave an overview of the collections and led us in mind that Heinrich Siebold's interest was to continue the collecting activities of his father.
The structure of the exhibition in several chapters showed the diversity and the high quality of the collections.
Between 1989 and 1993 the collection of Heinrich Siebold could be reconstructed, an essential chapter of Austrian museum history was written with this exhibition.

Curators: Bettina Zorn / Museum für Völkerkunde, Johannes Wieninger / MAK
Exhibition design: Michael Embacher

Catalogue: Wieninger, Johannes, Bettina Zorn: Japan yesterday. 
(Buchhandelausgabe unter dem Titel: Das alte Japan. Spuren und Objekte der Siebold-Reisen)
Beitr. Malcolm Fairley, Matthi Forrer, Robert Heuser u.a.)
München: Prestel 1997.     

Download: Vorwort und „Das ideale Museum“ (pdf)




Tokyo, Nagoya u.a. 1994-95
Exhibition and Catalogue: Wieninger, Johannes:, Akiko Mabuchi
Tokyo: The Tokyo Shimbun 1994.




Japonismus in Wien 1870 – 1930

Exhibition and Catalogue: Peter Pantzer, Johannes Wieninger: Verborgene Impressionen. Hidden impressions. Japonismus in Wien 1870 – 1930
Review: Hidden Impressions: Japonisme in Vienna 1870-1930. Vienna, Osterreichisches Museum fur angewandte Kunst
Author of Review: Toshio Watanabe in: The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 132, No. 1048 (Jul., 1990), pp. 510-511





for all publications please see the page PUBLIKATIONEN in german language.

all the following articles are published in other languages than german


2015  2014  2013  2012  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006  2005  2002  2001  2000  1999  1997

1996  1995  1994  1991  1990  1989  1988  1987  1985  1984  1983  1982  1980





 „Es erscheint mir ganz natürlich, dass etwas nie fertig ist.“ Ein Gespräch zwischen Tadashi Kawamata und Johannes Wieninger

„It seems quite natural to me that something is never finished.” A conservation between Tadfashi Kawamata and Johannes Wieninger (November 2013).

in: MAK/GUIDE ASIEN. China - Japan – Korea. München 2014

Download Text: deutsch u. engl. pdf  



„Es erscheint mir ganz natürlich, dass etwas nie fertig ist.“ Ein Gespräch zwischen Tadashi Kawamata und Johannes Wieninger

„It seems quite natural to me that something is never finished.” A conservation between Tadfashi Kawamata and Johannes Wieninger (November 2013).

Kurzfassung in: MAKZINE #1/2014

Download Text: deutsch u. engl. pdf  


Sammlungsgeschichte – Die MAK-Sammlung Asien 1864-2014. History oft he Collection – The MAK Asia Collection 1864-2014.

in: MAK/GUIDE ASIEN. China - Japan – Korea. München 2014

Download Text: deutsch u. engl. pdf  



Für wen arbeiten die Kunsthandwerker eigentlich? Gedanken eines Jury-Mitgliedes.

For Whom Do Craftsmen Actually Work?

in: Danner-Preis 2014 Buch zum Danner-Preis der Danner-Stiftung, erschienen anläßlich der ausstellung in Schloss Aschaffenburg 2014-2015

Download Text: deutsch u. engl. pdf  



Verschiebungen / Shifts. in: Rose Stach UnderCover. Ausstellungskatalog Frauenmuseum Bonn 2014/2015

Download Text: deutsch u. engl pdf





“Japon” Zum Japonismus bei Gustav Klimt.

 in: Klimt’s Golden Rider and Vienna. Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Klimt‘ Birth

Ausstellungskatalog Nagoya u.a. 2013

Download Text: jap. pdf





The ideal museum: history and vision.

Translated by Cui Zhi-jin. in: Journal of Sotheast University (Philosophy and social Science) No.4, 2012.

Download Text: chinese pdf


Das Orientalische Museum in Wien, 1874 – 1906.

in: Vienne, porta Orientis . Austriaca. Cahiers universitaires d’information sur l‘Autriche  Jg. 37/ 2012

Download Text: mit Resümees in Deutsch, Englisch und Französisch pdf



Gustav Klimt und die Kunst Japans

In: Beate Murr: GUSTAV KLIMT - ERWARTUNG UND ERFÜLLUNG Entwürfe zum Mosaikfries im Palais Stoclet

EXPECTATION AND FULFILLMENT Cartoons for the Mosaic Frieze at Stoclet House, MAK 2012

Download Text: Dt/engl (pdf)


Bijoustil/Bijou Style

In: Beate Murr: GUSTAV KLIMT - ERWARTUNG UND ERFÜLLUNG Entwürfe zum Mosaikfries im Palais Stoclet

EXPECTATION AND FULFILLMENT Cartoons for the Mosaic Frieze at Stoclet House, MAK 2012

Download Text: dt/engl (pdf)


Kann man „Einfachheit“ erfinden?

Can We Invent Simplicity? 

In: MAK/ZINE #1/2012

Download Text:dt/engl (pdf)


Die Bedeutung der japanischen Färberschablone für Wien um 1900

The Significance of Japanese stencils for Vienna c. 1900 

In: MAK/ZINE #2/2012 

Download Text: dt/engl (pdf)



The Significance of Japanese stencils for Vienna c. 1900 

in: Katagami Style - Paper Stencils and Japonisme. Exhibition cat. Tokyo/Kyoto 2012.

Download Text: japanese (pdf)





Zwischen Klischee und Dokumentation. Das Japanbild von Wilhelm Burger, Fotograf der Ostasienexpedition 1869 - 1871.

Betrachtungen zur Ikonographie der frühen Photographie in Japan.

in: Beiträge zum Österreich-Japan-Jahr 2009. Sophia University, Tokyo

Download Text: Burger (pdf)






Kunst als Botschaft.

Asien und Europa 1500–1700

03.06.2009 - 27.09.2009


Kuratoren: Johannes Wieninger, MAK-Kustode Asien, Angela Völker, MAK-Kustodin Textilien und Teppiche Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeit: Brigitte Moser 

Gestaltung: Michael Embacher

Ausstellungskatalog: GLOBAL:LAB - Kunst als Botschaft. Asien und Europa 1500–1700

Download Text: | Vorwort deutsch (pdf) | Preface english (pdf)



in: Gustav Klimt – The Artwork

Seoul Arts Center (Hangram Art Museum) (1. Februar – 15. Mai 2009)

Download Text: deutsch (pdf-file) | english (pdf-file) | korean (pdf-file)






Internationales Symposium

Heinrich von Siebolds Leben und Werk - Völkerkundliche Japanforschung und die Rolle von Sammlungen in der Entwicklung der Japanologie 

Tokyo, Hōsei-Universität, Institute for International Japan Studies, 1.–2. März 2008 

1. März 2008

Publikation 2009

Download Text: deutsch (pdf-file) | english (pdf-file) | japanese (pdf-file)


Essay: Uaaaa!!! Manga in. Derby Jockey

Vol. 9 by Yutake Take, Tokihiko Ishiki and Shin Kudo

Tokyo, Shogakukan 2008, ISBN: 978-4-09-193789-6

Download Text: english/japanese (pdf-file)


Interview: Christopher Bolton: UAAAAA!!! - Trashkultur!

an Interview with MAK‘s Johannes Wieninger.

in: Mechademia  - Networks of Desire. vol. 2

Minneapolis-London 2008

ISBN-10: 0-8166-5266-X 

Download Text: english (pdf-file)





Katagami et art viennois

in: Ausstellungskatalog: Katagami. Les pochoirs japonais et le japonisme

Maison de la culture du Japon a Paris 2006/ 2007

Download Text: franc. (pdf-file)


Rimpa and the Art of Gustav Klimt

Tokyo: The Tokyo Shimbun 2004

Download Text: japanese (pdf-file)





Vorwort zu: Kijiro Ohta & Gustav Klimt

Zu Besuch bei Klimt in Wien (1913)

Das Atelier in Unter St. Veit in Wien

Herausgeber: Verein Gedenkstätte Gustav Klimt



Brigitte Moser, Beate Murr, Johannes Wieninger: Ukiyo-e reloaded. Die Sammlung japanischer Farbholzschnitte im MAK. Wien: DVD-Katalog, MAK, Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz 2005

Download Text: Vorwort und Sammlungsgeschichte, deutsch (pdf-file)

Introduction and history of the collection) (english) (pdf-file)


Kreiner, Josef [Hrsg.]

Japanese collections in European museums. Reports from the Toyota Foundation symposium, Königswinter 2003

Bonn. Bier, Reihe/Band: Japan-Archiv/5

darin: Die Japansammlung des MAK-Österreichsiches Museum für angewandte Kunst, Wien

Download Text: 




"Die Sammlung Heinrich Siebold in den Wiener Museen"

in: Ausstellungskatalog: Kreiner, Josef u.a.: 200 Jahre Siebold – die Japansammlungen Philipp Franz und Heinrich von Siebold. (The Siebold-Collections) Tokyo,  Edo-Tokyo-Museum u.a.

Download Text: Japanese (and german resumee) (pdf-file)

(in deutscher Sprache in ”Miscellanea Nr. 12“

des Franz-Philipp-Siebold Institutes in Tokyo) 

Download Text: deutsch(pdf-file)




Wieninger, Johannes:, Akiko Mabuchi: Japonisme in Vienna

Tokyo: The Tokyo Shimbun 1994

Katalog- und Ausstellungskonzept gemeinsam mit Akiko Mabuchi

mit folgenden Beiträgen:

"An europeanised Japan" - Reflections on 'Japonisme in Vienna’

"The influence of the Japanese was basically only a stimulus" - On the Graphic Arts in Vienna

Download Text: japanese (pdf-file)


"Die Sammlung japanischer Malereien im Österreichischen Museum für angewandte Kunst"

"Die Architekturfragmente eines Memorialbaues aus Shiba/Tokyo im Österreichischen Museum für angewandte Kunst"

in: Japanese Arts. The Great European Collections. Vol.11. Kodansha, Tokyo (jap.)

Download Text: japanese (pdf-file)





"Was können wir von den Japanern lernen?" Japanische Kunst und Wien um 1900

in: Ausstellungskatalog: ”Wien um 1900“ Sezon-Museum, Tokyo

Language Text: German and Japanese


Peter Pantzer, Johannes Wieninger: Verborgene Impressionen. Hidden impressions. Japonismus in Wien 1870 – 1930 (Ausstellungskatalog)

mit folgenden Beiträgen:

"Japan in Wien" - Japanische Kunst in Wiener Sammlungen und Ausstellungen  um 1900.

"Die andere Nervenkunst" - Japanische Kunst und Wien um 1900

Wien: Seitenberg 1990.     Ausstellungen II 624 / Hk. 256

Language Text: German and English




Mitarbeit (Kurzartikel und Biographien)

Le Arti a Vienna dalla Secessione alla caduta dell'Impero Asburgico.

Catal.della Mostra Biennale di Venezia

Venezia,Palazzo Grassi,20/5-16/9/1984

in italienischer Sprache,

in deutscher Sprache siehe deutschsprachige Ausgabe anläßlich der Ausstellung „Wien 1900“, Künstlerhaus 1985



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