The great charm of ryijy textiles, which exude the air of a soft color field, lies in their intricately structured expressions of color. The turning point for the textiles, often said to exemplify the Finnish identity, dates to an exhibition of works by the painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela at the 1900 Paris Exposition. In the 1950s, ryijy textiles garnered international acclaim in conjunction with Finnish design and won a number of awards at successive Milan Triennials. Today, the textiles encompassed a more diverse range of styles and materials, and a wider range of expressions.
This exhibition of approximately 40 ryijy textiles, dating from the 1950s and later, marks the first time that works from the Tuomas Sopanen Collection have been presented in Japan.
As a Nihonga (Japanese-style) painter, Kainosho Tadaoto (1894-1978) was active in Kyoto during the Taisho (1912-1926) and early Showa Period (1926-1989). The works he showed as a member of the Kokuga Sosaku Kyokai (National Painting Creation Association) were acclaimed for their depiction of human life, which embraced both the beautiful and the ugly. Due in part to Kainosho’s subsequent shift to the film industry, where he worked as a researcher of traditional manners and customs, among other things, he was long neglected by the art world. Although an exhibition devoted to his paintings that was held at this museum in 1997 prompted a reevaluation of Kainosho’s career, it did not sufficiently address his film work. In light of the fact that some period clothing Kainosho designed for movies was recently unearthed at a film studio in Uzumasa, this exhibition strives to present a full picture of the artist’s career, including his work for the screen.
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.