Outside the Museum courtyard is a high picket fence. Peer over it and you will spy a large fallen angel. Made by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Russian artists, the work has a tragically absurd narrative. The angle seems to have flown into the building and knocked himself down. A warning that breaking free has its dangers.

An exhibition at the National Museum of Modern Art seeks to highlight artists who both follow tradition; Continuity and break free; Transgression. To unravel these divergent threads 10 artists were selected -- six international artists and four from Japan.

The journey through this exhibiton is a safari into contemporary art. Here, the unexpected seems to lurk. Around any bend may be an enormous fiberglass baby or one hundred faces watching. At another junction dangerous bits of industrial experiments seem ready to crush or electricute the careless venturer.

The enormous fiberglass baby is the work of British based Australian artist, Ron Mueck. He has specialized in sculptures featuring hyper realistic distortions of humanity. They are eerily scary mutants and we struggle to locate the differences between them and us.

Also haunting are the large wallpaper works of Julian Opie, 'Holiday in Bali 2002'. This work consists of large comic styled images of people and landscapes matched with natural sounds from the tropical island. They have a powerful resonance in the after shock of the recent terrorist blast.

Perhaps even more frightening are the heavy-duty installations by Toshikatsu Endo. Using huge sheets of heavy plate steel he puts the viewer inside what looks like some half finished experiment using electrical equipment. Connected to live wires the piece seems scarily exposed. It is brutal work dealing in elemental forces.

Roni Horn is represented with a work displaying over 100 photographic images of the face of a woman in a hot spring bath. On close scrutiny, searching for differences of expression, you look beyond the face and find emotions.

Performance artist, Tadasu Takamine, has used a huge block of clay to create an animated head. The lump of clay constantly sings 'God bless America'. Around the head, in a red studio room, caught in the animated picture are frames of the artist and his female assistant eating, drinking, sleeping and making love. It is the obsessive dedication to their work that makes this such a wonderful piece.

In another video work, Candice Breitz sets up pairs of monitors facing each other in a room. On each are a musical star from a video clip. Each shit song is edited down to just a few words. On one monitor the female pop star sings all the phrases which are in the first person pronoun 'I'. On the facing screen she sings those parts in the second person 'you' -- all from the same song. Annie, Karen, Olivier and Whitney endlessly singing 'I' to their double 'you'.

The work in this exhibition is varied and powerful. Other artists included are Jun Aoki, Tadasu Takamine and Roland Flexner. The journey with these artists takes you to the outer boundaries of creative expression. The territory you explore is new, exciting and dangerous.

Nat'l Mus. of Modern Art, Tokyo Through December 23