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Past Special Exhibition 1999

Ushijima Noriyuki / Mori Yoshio Retrospective Exhibition

30 September (Thu) to 24 December (Fri), 1999

This exhibition presented a retrospective of the works of two Western-style painters, Ushijima Noriyuki and Mori Yoshio, both of whom passed away in close succession in 1997. Both artists were members of the Shiseido-sponsored Third Tsubakikai and participated from its first exhibition. This exhibition recalled their achievements with a showing of sixteen works by Ushijima and twelve by Mori.

Ushijima Noriyuki was born in 1900 in Kumamoto prefecture and later studied Western-style painting at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (now Tokyo University of the Arts). Throughout his long life he devoted himself to landscape painting, and while he applied Western painting techniques, the style of his works also captured a distinctly Japanese sense of the beauties of the natural world with a finely attuned lyricism. These pictures of serenely silent, dreamlike worlds captured the hearts of many people, and in 1983 Ushijima was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit for his work as a Western-style painter representative of the Japanese nation.

Mori Yoshio was born in 1908 in Tokyo. After attending Keio Junior High School he joined the Hongo School of Western Painting, then spent his twenty-third through twenty-sixth years in Paris broadening his knowledge of European art. In 1950 he earned wide acclaim for his painting “Futari,” and thereafter continued applying his profound style to create numerous well-received images of people highlighting their deep humanity.

Living National Treasure — Taguchi Yoshikuni: A World of maki-e Gilded Lacquer

29 June (Tue) to 26 September (Sun), 1999

Lacquer artist Taguchi Yoshikuni (1923–98) is known for his unique style that fused a thorough understanding of advanced classical lacquer craft technique with a distinctly modern aesthetic. In 1989 he was recognized as an “Important Intangible Cultural Property” (“living national treasure”) for his work in the field of maki-e (a type of lacquer gilded with sprinkled gold), and continued to be active as one of Japan's most representative contemporary lacquer crafters.
This exhibition introduced the richness of Taguchi's world of maki-e through twenty of the works he submitted to the Shiseido-sponsored Exhibition of Modern Industrial Arts, presented along with about eighty other displays showing some of his favorite maki-e tools, underdrawings documenting his creative process, and numerous pictorial works.

Suzuki Osamu, Kamoda Shoji & Yagi Kazuo — Pottery Craft Exhibition

30 March (Tue) to 27 June (Sun), 1999

This exhibition presented ceramic works by three of the most influential post-war Japanese potters, including Suzuki Osamu (1926– ), Yagi Kazuo (1918–79) and Kamoda Shoji (1933–83).

Lalique & Baccarat: An Exhibition of French Antique Perfume Bottles

5 January (Tue) to 28 March (Sun), 1999

This exhibition presented forty-three antique French perfume bottles created by renowned glass designer René Lalique and the Baccarat crystal company from the late 1910s through the 1940s. It was from around the middle of the nineteenth century that use of perfumes began to spread in France. Along with this development, the originally simple glass bottles used to hold perfume began being embellished with ever more elegant designs, and this trend of refinement became firmly established when the luxury cut-crystal manufacturer Baccarat turned its hand to mass producing these.
In 1908, the cosmetics company Coty brought in renowned jewelry crafter René Lalique to design the bottles and labels for its perfumes, and thereafter Lalique continued to create work after work that would remain in the annals of perfume bottle design.
The majority of the bottles presented in this exhibition were made during the 1920s and 1930s, the same period during which contemporary fragrances were growing in popularity, and these decades also coincided with the sweep of the Art Deco design style across Europe. These bottles embodying that age's distinctive connection of art and industry have become objets d'art that remain appealing for the way they reflect the tenor of those times so well.