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Current Exhibition

Special Exhibition Commemorating a Decade since the Yamatane Museum of Art Opened in Hiroo
Celebrating the 130th Anniversary of His Birth:
The Art of Okumura Togyū

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Okumura Togyū,
Cherry Blossoms at Daigo-ji Temple,
Yamatane Museum of Art

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2 Feb (Sat.) – 31 Mar (Sun.) 2019
(Closed on 12 Feb and on Mondays, except for 11 Feb.)

Hours:10 am - 5 pm (Last admission at 4:30 pm)

Admission Fees: Adults: 1,200 [1,000] yen; university and high school students: 900 [800] yen; middle school and younger children: free of charge
*Figures in brackets are for groups of 20 or more, advance tickets, repeaters with used tickets for this exhibition and those who are wearing kimono.
*Disability ID holders and one person accompanying them are admitted free of charge.

Organized by: Yamatane Museum of Art and The Asahi Shimbun.

Highlights of the Exhibition
Okumura Togyū, The Kōshū Highway, Color on Paper, Taishō Period, 1924, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Poetic Rain, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1928, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, A Girl Under a Loquat Tree, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1930, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Feeding, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1936, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Snow-covered Mountain, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1946, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Woodpecker, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1947, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Rabbit, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, c. 1947, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Flowers, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1952, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Maiko, Apprentice Geisha, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1954, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Water Lilies, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1955, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Himeji Castle, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1955, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Ballerina, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1956, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Dainichi Buddha, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1957, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Maelstroms at Naruto, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1959, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Tea Ceremony Room, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1963, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Sumō Wrestlers, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1966, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Gate, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1967, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Cherry Blossoms at Daigo-ji Temple, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1972, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Gerberas, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1975, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Spring in Yoshino, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1977, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Mt. Fuji Viewed from Fujinomiya, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1982, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Calf, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1984, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Calligraphy: Commemorating a Ninety-Ninth Birthday, Ink on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1987, Yamatane Museum of Art

Approximately 60 works in total are to be displayed.

Exhibition Overview

The Yamatane Museum of Art, which first opened its doors in Nihonbashi Kabuto-cho, Tokyo, in 1966, reopened in its new facility in Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, in October, 2009. In 2019, as the first of our exhibitions commemorating a decade since the Yamatane Museum of Art opened in Hiroo, we are delighted to present a 130th birthday exhibition of the work of the nihonga artist Okumura Togyū (1889-1990), with whom our museum had close ties. The founder of our museum, Yamazaki Taneji (1893-1983), acting on his belief that “What is transmitted through a painting is the artist’s humanity,” collected art through his personal interactions with artists. He was particularly close to Togyū, with whom his connections continued for half a century, starting with supporting the artist, then unknown, when he was devoted to his studies. Our museum is now famed for its remarkable collection of 135 superb paintings by Togyū.

Togyū became interested in painting while in his teens, under the influence of his father, who had himself hoped to become a painter. He met Kobayashi Kokei (1883-1957), whom he regarded as his lifelong teacher, while studying at the painting school directed by Kajita Hanko (1870-1917). While Togyū was a late bloomer―he was thirty-eight when his work was first selected for the Japan Art Institute Exhibition (Inten) ―he achieved considerable fame after he reached his forties. Togyū lived to the age of 101 and continued to create until the end of his life. He also consistently emphasized principles he had learned from Hanko and Kokei, of emphasizing sketching from life and valuing dignity and elegance in his paintings. His large oeuvre demonstrates, as he wrote, that “What is communicated by a painting is the humanity of the artist.”

The art name Togyū is based on a phrase from a Tang-dynasty Chinese poem about a clay ox (dogyū) tilling a rocky field, with the implication that if even a clay ox tills a rocky wasteland with perseverance, it eventually will turn into a fertile field. Living up to his name, Togyū was quietly dedicated to his art. When he was over eighty years old, he said, “From now until my death, I want to paint clumsy works, brimming with life, never forgetting my initial passion.” With intense devotion, he continued to paint.

The core of the sixty works in this exhibition consists of paintings Togyū showed at the Inten, his main center of activity, including the famous Maelstroms at Naruto, in which he depicts wild eddies in the Seto Inland Sea at Naruto and Dainichi Buddha and Cherry Blossoms at Daigo-ji Temple, which he created in memory of Kokei.

The exhibition is divided into three sections: “The Foundations of Togyū’s Art: Grasping the Essence of Things,” “Okumura Togyū’s Approach: ‘Great Talents Bloom Late,’ They Said,” and “Passing the Century Mark—I Want to Paint Clumsy Works, Brimming with Life.”

奥村土牛《枇杷と少女》
Okumura Togyū
A Girl Under a Loquat Tree
Yamatane Museum of Art
奥村土牛《雪の山》
Okumura Togyū
Snow-covered Mountain
Yamatane Museum of Art
奥村土牛《兎》
Okumura Togyū
Bonbonnière in the Shape of a Papier-mâché Dog
Yamatane Museum of Art
奥村土牛《水蓮》
Okumura Togyū
Rabbit
Yamatane Museum of Art
奥村土牛《浄心》
Okumura Togyū
Dainichi Buddha
Yamatane Museum of Art
奥村土牛《鳴門》
Okumura Togyū
Maelstroms at Naruto
Yamatane Museum of Art
奥村土牛《吉野》
Okumura Togyū
Spring in Yoshino
Yamatane Museum of Art
奥村土牛《富士宮の富士》
Okumura Togyū
Mt. Fuji Viewed from Fujinomiya
Yamatane Museum of Art
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