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Current Exhibition

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Special Exhibition :
Higashiyama Kaii and Nihonga Depicting Four Seasons
【特別展】 東山魁夷と四季の日本画
Higashiyama Kaii, Rising Tidet

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21 November (Sat.) 2020 – 24 January (Sun.) 2021
(Closed on 23 Nov., from 28 Dec to 2 Jan, 11 Jan., and on Mondays except for 24 Nov. and 12 Jan.)

Hours:Weekdays:10 am - 4 pm (Last admission at 3:30 pm)
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 10 am - 5 pm (Last admission at 4:30 pm)

Admission Fees: Adults: 1,300 yen; university and high school students: 1,000 yen; middle school and younger children: free of charge (but must be accompanied by an adult)
Disability ID holders and one person accompanying them: 1,100 yen (university and high school students: 900 yen)
*Discount for those who are wearing kimono: Discount of 200 yen for adults, 100 yen for university and high school students.

Organized by: Yamatane Museum of Art and Nikkei Inc.

Sponsored by: SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

Highlights of the Exhibition
Higashiyama Kaii, White Mountain, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1964, Yamatane Museum of Art
Higashiyama Kaii, Rising Moon, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1965, Yamatane Museum of Art
Higashiyama Kaii, Hill in Early Spring, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1966, Yamatane Museum of Art
Higashiyama Kaii, Spring Calm, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1968, Yamatane Museum of Art
Higashiyama Kaii, Pervasive Verdure, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1976, Yamatane Museum of Art
Higashiyama Kaii, Autumn Colors, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1986, Yamatane Museum of Art
Higashiyama Kaii, End of the Year, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1968, Yamatane Museum of Art
Higashiyama Kaii, Rising Tide, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1970, Yamatane Museum of Art
Yūki Somei, Mountain in the Spring Mist/ Desiring Rain in the Summer Valley/ Mountain Under the Autumn Sky/ Sea on a Winter Day After Snowfall, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, c. 1940, Yamatane Museum of Art
Yamaguchi Hōshun, Quarter Scale Preparatory Painting for Maple Tree on Japanese Cedar Door at the New Imperial Palace, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1967, Yamatane Museum of Art
Katō Eizō, Wandering Light, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1971, Yamatane Museum of Art

Approximately 60 works in total are to be displayed.

Exhibition Overview

Higashiyama Kaii (1908-1999) was a Showa Period artist of national stature, renowned for the lyricism of the landscapes he painted in Japan and other parts of the world. Recent years have seen a continuing stream of major Kaii retrospectives. Even now, with the transition from Heisei to Reiwa, there has been no diminishing of interest in Kaii’s art. This Yamatane Museum of Art special exhibition showcases work   by Kaii and other modern or contemporary artists. It takes the four seasons and the landscape, two of the elements making up Kaii’s oeuvre, as its themes.

Kaii was born in Yokohama in 1908. After training in nihonga at the Tokyo Fine Arts School (now Tokyo University of the Arts), he continued his art education in Germany. After surviving a difficult period before and during the war, he became active as a landscape painter, making landscapes filled with a tranquil lyricism his distinctive terrain. This exhibition focuses on the period in which Kaii, having sojourned in northern Europe in search of a new form of landscape after the war, returned to Japan’s traditional beauty. It introduces outstanding works that epitomize that period.

Among those works is Rising Tide, commissioned by Yamazaki Taneji, the Yamatane Museum’s first director, after seeing the murals painted by Kaii to decorate the New Imperial Palace and wanting something similar to be accessible to the public. This work, which fuses Japanese images of the sea with the decorative quality of Japanese painting, is the perfect symbol of Kaii’s return to a Japanese aesthetic. His End of the Year and other paintings in the Landscapes of Kyoto series, produced during the same period, were inspired by the words of the author Kawabata Yasunari and are splendid depictions of the ancient capital’s landscapes and the subtle changes of its seasons.

This exhibition also includes superb works by other modern and contemporary artists. They include both sets of paintings of the four seasons, a traditional theme, and landscape paintings addressing the distinctive visage of spring, summer, fall, or winter. Kawai Gyokudō and Yūki Somei, who were Kaii’s teachers, his classmates at the Tokyo Fine Arts School, Yamada Shingo and Katō Eizō, and Yamaguchi Hōshun and Sugiyama Yasushi, who were also involved in decorative art for the New Imperial Palace, are among the artists whose work is shown in this section.We will be delighted if visitors to this exhibition come to more deeply appreciate the subtle sensitivity to the seasons that has been formed by Japanese encounters with nature.

*All works mentioned are from the Yamatane Museum of Art collection.

東山魁夷《春静》
Higashiyama Kaii, Spring Calm
東山魁夷《春静》
Higashiyama Kaii, Pervasive Verdure
東山魁夷《秋彩》
Higashiyama Kaii, Autumn Colors
東山魁夷《年暮る》
Higashiyama Kaii, End of the Year
結城素明《春山晴靄・夏渓欲雨・秋嶺帰雲・冬海雪霽》
Yūki Somei, Mountain in the Spring Mist/ Desiring Rain in the Summer Valley/ Mountain Under the Autumn Sky/ Sea on a Winter Day After Snowfall
山口蓬春 《新宮殿杉戸楓 4分の1下絵》
ⓒJR Tokai Lifelong Learning Foundation
Yamaguchi Hōshun, Quarter Scale Preparatory Painting for Maple Tree on Japanese Cedar Door at the New Imperial Palace
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