It would be no exaggeration to say that the history of the Kyoto art world in the late 19th and 20th century was a history of confrontations with Tokyo and the West. The youthful period of modern Kyoto painting from the late Meiji to the early Showa era is considered to be especially important, and in this exhibition, consisting of four sections, we present some 80 masterpieces of the period by the group’s leader Tsuchida Bakusen (1887-1936), Ono Chikkyo, Sakakibara Shiho, and Okamoto Shinso. But not only did these painters include younger figures like Tsuchida, they also encompassed a group of older artists such as Uemura Shoen, Kikuchi Keigetsu, and Konoshima Okoku, and masters such as Takeuchi Seiho. In addition to challenging Tokyo, the West, and even the traditions and history of Kyoto, the site of the artists’ own activities, they combined qualities such as excess and delicacy, which are often a hallmark of youth, and realized a body of works that exudes a charm unlike that of a mature artist.
The Collection Gallery exhibits selected works of nihonga (Japanese-style painting), yōga (Western-style painting), prints, sculpture, crafts (ceramics, textiles, metalworks, wood and bamboo works, lacquers and jewelry) and photography from the museum collection. Also shown are outstanding and monumental works of modern art in Japan, as well as modern and contemporary European and American art.