There and Back Again: this large-scale solo show includes newly commissioned large-scale gunpowder paintings on paper and canvas. Contemporary the new exhibition of works from the museum collection considers the relationship between war and art.
Curated by: Eriko Osaka (Director, Yokohama Museum of Art)
Co-curators: Hideko Numata, Naoaki Nakamura, Eriko Kimura (Yokohama Museum of Art)
This summer, the Yokohama Museum of Art presents New York-based artist Cai Guo-Qiang (b.1957, Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China) in his first large-scale solo exhibition in Japan since 2008. Drawing its title from Tao Yuanming's famous poem "The Return," this solo exhibition evokes a homecoming to Japan, where Cai's artistic path first took shape. The exhibition includes newly commissioned large-scale gunpowder paintings on paper and canvas.
For this exhibition, Cai produced his largest gunpowder painting to date, Nighttime Sakura. Measuring 8 x 24 meters in size, it is installed in the entrance hall of the museum and depicts the Japanese popular motif of the cherry blossom.
In Seasons of Life, a series of gunpowder paintings on canvas, Cai returned to experimenting with daytime fireworks, which he first took up in the 1990s while residing in Japan. The series is inspired by the work of shunga artist Tsukioka Settei and depicts the transition in the seasons and the love life of a couple.
The exhibition also includes Morning Glory, an elegant installation suspended from the gallery ceiling. To create this work, the artist invited students from the Yokohama College of Art and Design to model 600 Japanese morning glories out of terracotta.
There and Back Again marks the launch of Art Island, an online art and educational game platform conceived by Cai with the long-term goal of fostering creativity, mutual understanding and peace in the East Asian region. With this game, children will be able to create, collaborate and exchange ideas within the game's virtual workshops. The Fireworks Workshop and Robot Workshop in particular are based respectively on Cai's signature medium and his iconic travelling exhibition Peasant da Vincis. As the game continues to develop, prominent artists, designers and architects from East Asia will be invited to create additional workshops for Art Island.
In addition to these new commissions, Head On (2006), a large-scale installation of 99 life-size replicas of wolves, and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter (2014), a four-panel installation of gunpowder on porcelain, are on view for the first time in Japan.
The exhibition catalog includes images of the creation process and installation views of the exhibition as well as the Japanese edition of Ninety-Nine Tales: Curious Stories from My Journey through the Real and Unseen Worlds, a collection of short autobiographical essays originally written in Chinese by Cai. The catalog will be on sale in late July at the museum shop, as well as at general bookstores and online shops in Japan.
Coordinator: Aya Tanaka
The Exhibition of the Yokohama Museum of Art: Collection 2015 Part2
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.
Ritsuko Miyano, Satoko Fujii, Chie Kubota (PR, Yokohama Museum of Art) email@example.com
Yokohama Museum of Art
3-4-1, Minatomirai, Nishi-ku Yokohama, 220-0012 Japan
10:00-18:00 (last admission at 17:30)
Evening hours: September 16 (Wed.), September 18 (Fri.) 10:00-20:00 (admission until 19:30)
Closed Thursdays, Year-end and New Year holidays.
Adults 500 (400) yen; High school and college students 300 (240) yen;
Junior high school students 100 (80) yen; Free admission for children of or below elementary school age.