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The Exhibition of the Yokohama Museum of Art: Collection 2015 part2


At Yokohama Museum of Art


War and Art: A Special Exhibit Commemorating the End of World War II
OKAKURA Tenshin and the Artists of the Nihon Bijutsuin
Paul JACOULET and the New Print Movement


This exhibition of works from the museum collection, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, considers the relationship between war and art.


A variety of avant-garde trends emerged against a backdrop of social unrest in Europe between the First and Second World Wars. Meanwhile in Japan, which had already seen the rise of new art movements in the Taisho Period (1912-1926), a unique style of avant-garde art was born after Japanese painters came into contact with new forms of expression such as Surrealism in the pre-war Showa Period (1926-1940). Gradually, however, these activities became a target of government suppression, and with the outbreak of war, they were suspended by the Imperial Rule Assistance Association. After the war, artists went back to work as reconstruction efforts moved forward in society as a whole. This required a resolve to start over from scratch and explore new forms of expression while struggling with mental scars that were still fresh from the war. These experiences, which the artists had been unwillingly burdened with, displayed an ongoing influence, both direct and indirect, in their work. In this special exhibit, we introduce art by artists working in a variety of genres who lived around the time of the war by drawing on the museum’s collection of 20th century art. We also present reference materials such as photographs, magazines, and books in order to reexamine the relationship between art and war in Europe, and above all, in Japan.


To coincide with the “Cai Guo-Qiang: There and Back Again” exhibition, we present a sampling of modern Nihon-ga, a genre that Cai is deeply interested in. Drawing on the special characteristics of the museum collection, this exhibit consists of works by Nihon-ga painters such as YOKOYAMA Taikan, SHIMOMURA Kanzan, IMAMURA Shiko, and YASUDA Yukihiko, all of whom were taught by OKAKURA Tenshin.


In addition, there is a display of work by the Paris-born ukiyo-e artist Paul JACOULET (1896-1960). The Shin Hanga (New Print) movement set out to revive and modernize ukiyo-e, which by that point had fallen into decline. In this exhibit, we present important prints from our collection of 188 works by JACOULET, who held a special place in the movement, along with other examples of new prints by HASHIGUCHI Goyo, ITO Shinsui, and others.


(quote from "Yokohama Museum of Art")

ARAKAWA + GINS Tokyo Office