Collection Gallery

4th Collection Gallery Exhibition 2017–2018 (112 works in all)

Exhibition Period

10. 25 (Wed.) – 12. 24 (Sun.), 2017

Themes of Exhibition

List of Works

Curatorial Studies 12: The 100th Anniversary of Duchamp's Fountain
   Case 4: Research Notes - Reading Duchamp, 2007/14

In Case 4 of this series devoted to Marcel Duchamp's Fountain, we examine the work of the Welsh artist Bethan Huws (b. 1961). After studying at the Royal College of Art in London, Huws began her career as a Paris- and Berlin-based artist in the 1990s. She makes two- and three-dimensional works, videos, and installations dealing with themes such as identity, language, and translation. Huws represented Wales in the 2003 Venice Biennale, and has held solo exhibitions at venues all over the world including Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht, Netherlands (2006), Whitechapel Gallery in London (2011), and the Kunstmuseum Bern in Bern, Switzerland (2014). This marks the first time that the artist's lifework has been assembled for an exhibition in Japan.
  Reading Duchamp, Research Notes is a project that Huws began in 2007. It consists of a series of mind maps illustrating threads of thought connected to Duchamp. Huws jotted down countless Duchamp quotes and a massive number of research notes and drawings on pieces of A4-size paper. But unlike the approach of an art historian, the information is not arranged in any logical or systematic way. Huws carefully deciphers Duchamp's techniques, which deftly incorporated wordplay, and considers how the artist dealt with numbers, colors, and iconographic motifs, and how he integrated French and English words and sounds into his work. To the viewer, Huws' approach looks like a collection of fragmented thoughts but can also be seen as, to use Duchamp's own phrase, a "creative interpretation" of works that emerge between the two poles of artist and viewer. Please enjoy making your way through the labyrinth of words and images that was created by Duchamp and Huws.

Top of this page

On the Occasion of The Age of Okamoto Shinso Exhibition

In conjunction with The Age of Okamoto Shinso exhibition, currently underway on the third floor, we present this special selection of works from the museum's Nihon-ga (Japanese-style painting) collection and other works that have been entrusted to the museum.
  Lotuses is reminiscent of Okamoto's teacher Kikuchi Keigetsu's works using Chinese people as motifs which Okamoto copied extensively (as a student, he probably also had a chance to look at the actual works). There are also works by Kainosho Tadaoto, who competed with Okamoto to create the most unique pictures of women, as well as works by fellow pupils like Kajiwara Hisako, Sato Koka, Kimura Shiko, Takahashi Shiko, Tanikado Hisaharu, and Tonouchi Misho. In addition, there are works by Ito Hakudai, Irie Hako, Sakakibara Shiko, Tamamura Hokuto and Murakami Kagaku, who were part of the Mitsuritsukai, a painting research group made up of artists of various ages who were students and graduates of Kyoto City School of Arts and Crafts. There are also paintings of women by Nishiyama Suisho and Nakamura Daizaburo, who were active in the Kyoto art scene during the same period. There is also strong works by Imao Keinen, who exerted an influence on the way women were depicted in the Kyoto art world of the late 19th century, Uemura Shoen, a notable painter of women during the modern era in the city, and Kitano Tsunetomi, a prominent figure in the Osaka art scene in the same era.
  Kanada Waro's Peaches, was awarded the Chogyu Prize at the 1st Kokuga Sosaku Kyokai exhibition, which Okamoto's Lipstick, and Kainosho's Side Comb caused a sensation. Though Side Comb, part of the museum collection, is not included in this exhibit, the later modified version of the picture that is on display better conveys the atmosphere of the era. And as you look at the two still competing works on the third floor, we hope that you will keep in mind that the 1st Kokuga exhibition was held on this very site 99 years ago on November 27 (January 20, 2018 marks the Kokuga group's centennial).

KIKUCHI Keigetsu, Lotuses, 1917
KIKUCHI Keigetsu, Lotuses, 1917

Top of this page

Yuzen and Stencil Dyeing

Textiles can be broadly divided into two processes: dyeing and weaving. A variety of distinctive textile works are created with methods such as yuzen, stencil, batik, nagaita chugata, and tate-nishiki dyeing; and ra, tsumugi-ori, kasuri-ori, and tsuzure-ori weaving. In this exhibit, we focus on yuzen and stencil dyeing to highlight the special qualities and charms of works that are a product of the dyeing process.
  Yuzen is a paste-resist method of dyeing patterns on cloth that dates to the Edo Period. It is distinguished by a delicate positioning of paste, multiple colors, gorgeous picturesque designs, and geometrical patterns. The name yuzen is derived from Miyazaki Yuzensai, a fan maker who applied his designs to short-sleeved kimono. Two other techniques – resist printing with fine-line paste, and multi-colored dyeing using a brushed printing method – were developed around the same time and remain in use today. Along with the hand-drawn approach that has long served as the foundation of yuzen, a stencil-dyeing technique was devised in the 19th century. This greatly expanded the range of artistic expressions and led to the technique's rapid spread.
  Stencil dyeing is a method in which designs are created with paper patterns. This led to a variety of characteristics such as designs based on patterns and pictures, the repetition and development of complex patterns, and planar structures. Incidentally, kata-e-zome is another type of stencil dyeing that emerged when Serizawa Keisuke was designated as a holder of an Important Intangible Cultural Property (Living National Treasure) in 1956. In contrast to the traditional division of labor, Serizawa was esteemed for a creative approach that informed the entire production process, including everything from making the pattern, cutting out the stencil, positioning the paste, and dyeing the cloth.

MORIGUCHI Kako, Long-sleeved kimono, Yuzen dyeing, Plum Orchard, 1964
MORIGUCHI Kako,
Long-sleeved kimono, Yuzen dyeing, "Plum Orchard", 1964

Top of this page

Kawai Kanjiro and Modern Japanese Ceramics

Kawai Kanjiro, a preeminent figure in modern Japanese ceramics, was born in what is now Yasugi, Shimane Prefecture in 1890. After graduating from Tokyo Higher Polytechnical School (now Tokyo Institute of Technology), Kawai began working as a teacher at the Kyoto Municipal Ceramic Laboratory. Kawai left the laboratory in 1917, and after setting out to be a ceramic artist, he became involved in the Mingei folk crafts movement. As the epithet "Kawai the Glazer" suggests, Kawai was highly regarded for his artistry, including his distinctive use of glaze. Along with some of Kawai's most noteworthy pieces, in this exhibit we present some works by contemporary ceramic artists who were associated with Kawai.
  Itaya Hazan, the first ceramic artist to receive the Order of Cultural Merit, was one of Kawai's teachers at Tokyo Higher Polytechnical School. Along with the English potter Bernard Leach, who began making ceramics in Japan, and Tomimoto Kenkichi, a designated Living National Treasure in iro-e (colored picture) porcelain, Itaya had a tremendous influence on Kawai's direction as an artist. Hamada Shoji was one of Kawai's comrades in the Mingei movement, and a friend who studied with him at Tokyo Higher Polytechnical School and Kyoto Municipal Ceramic Laboratory. Kawai's relationship with Kiyomizu Rokubei was based on a two-year period during which Kawai served as a glaze advisor at Kiyomizu's studio. Kawai's also inherited his climbing kiln, which is still extant, from Kiyomizu. Kusube Yaichi, one of Kyoto's most renowned ceramic artists, introduced Kawai to the woodworker Kuroda Tatsuaki, and although Kitaoji Ryosanjin later grew critical of Kawai, he originally rated Kawai's work highly, and at one point considered inviting him to join his studio.

KAWAI Kanjiro, Vase, 1952
KAWAI Kanjiro, Vase, 1952

Top of this page

Special Feature: The Cella

The Cella Bijutsu Kyokai (Cella Art Association) was formed on December 23, 1959 by a group of 13 artists: Iwata Shigeyoshi, Kusuda Shingo, Kubota Ichijuro, Sakaki Ken, Nakao Ichiro, Nakatsuka Hiroshi, Nago Takayuki, Nishii Masaki, Nomura Hisayuki, Hamada Taisuke, Funakoshi Osamu, and Matsui Shotaro, all of whom were graduates of the Nihon-ga (Japanese-style painting) department at Kyoto Municipal School of Painting (now Kyoto City University of Arts), and Monobe Ryuichi, a graduate of the specialty art painting department at Kyoto Art University (now Kyoto University of Education).
  The group's members were united in their deep dissatisfaction with the feudalistic and political nature of Japanese art organizations and the art world in general, and had a strong desire to express themselves freely.
  The name "Cella," derived from a Latin word meaning "cell" or "unit," was given to the group by Kimura Shigenobu, an art historian and professor at Kyoto Municipal School of Painting, who sympathized with the artists' goals. These included the "hope [as expressed in the group's manifesto] that like cells dividing and expanding, our activities will garner support from all types of people."
  As this suggests, despite their background in Nihon-ga, the group's members set out to make "truly creative paintings" based on a wide perspective without being restricted by traditional concepts. To achieve this, they not only used Nihon-ga pigments but oil, enamel, and vinyl paint, sumi ink, and house paint as well as many things that had not yet been recognized as artistic materials such as lacquer, wax, plaster, cloth, rubber, mud, straw mats, and stone. The finished products were shown in rapid succession in the Cella Art Association Exhibition, which was held at the rapid pace of two to four times a year.
  Between fiscal 2012 and 2014, the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto acquired a number of works by the Cella Bijutsu Kyokai. In this exhibit, we present a collection of the group's art and take a look back at their activities.

MONOBE Ryuichi, Untitled 62-3, 1962
MONOBE Ryuichi, Untitled 62-3, 1962

Top of this page

Asia through the Lens: Reportage, Travelogues, and Novels

With the war photographer and photojournalist Robert Capa, the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson founded a photographic cooperative called Magnum Photos. He also traveled all over the world and shot a variety of historic scenes. The title of Cartier-Bresson's 1952 photobook The Decisive Moment (originally called Images à la Sauvette in French) is widely known not only as a description of the photographer's own work (distinguished by a snapshot-like approach and calculated compositions taken with a compact Leica camera), but photography as a whole. Cartier-Bresson's body of work, which includes pictures taken in Asia, Mexico, and the Soviet Union, exerted a huge influence on future generations as the epitome of reportage photography.
  Among these is the Australian photographer Max Pam. Pam began studying photography while in university, and established his style, recalling a travel diary, following a trip he made from Calcutta to London as an astronomer's assistant with a camera in hand. His pictures, snapshots depicting the people he meets on his travels, provide an insight into Western exoticism. Why do we feel uncomfortable about seeing Pam's photograph of a Zen priest soaking in a hot spring?
  Dayanita Singh felt a similar sense of discomfort when confronted by this type of Asian image in a photo magazine. Born in New Delhi in 1961, Singh studied documentary photography in New York. Later, she began to question stereotypical photographs of India rooted in Western exoticism (or India as seen through Western eyes). Singh's work, I Am as I Am, which exemplifies her shift away from photojournalism, uses an intimate viewpoint to vibrantly capture strong-willed young girls living in a monastery.

Top of this page