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Past Special Exhibition 2003

Matsui Kosei Memorial Exhibition

3 October (Fri) to 23 December (Tue), 2003

This retrospective exhibition featured the works of potter Matsui Kosei (1927–2003). Matsui, who passed suddenly in April 2003, was the first potter to be designated an “Important Intangible Cultural Property” (that is, recognized as a “living national treasure”) among those born in the Showa period (1926-1988), and was best known for the marbling technique (neriage-de) he used to create works similar to agateware.
Neriage-de, a technique requiring great skill, involves combining different colored clays together to form complex marbling patterns in the resulting fired pieces. Matsui studied and honed this technique all his life, eventually originating a process by which he used the same base clay for all of the layers, mixing in small amounts of intense colorants to achieve his desired chromatic effects in each. He also found ways to produce such marbled wares on the pottery wheel, something previously thought to be impossible, and this and other contributions had a profound effect on many of those who followed. This exhibition highlighted seventeen of Matsui's works that had previously been shown at the Shiseido-sponsored Exhibition of Modern Industrial Arts series (1975–1995), along with photos of the potter at work, interviews, and other materials recalling his achievements with the neriage-de technique.

Fifth Tsubakikai Exhibition

4 July (Fri) to 23 September (Tue), 2003

This exhibition featured both two- and three–dimensional works by nine of the artists participating in the Fifth Tsubakikai.
The original Shiseido-sponsored Tsubakikai exhibition group was started in 1947 and was active through 1954, with participating artists including Kobayashi Kokei, Yokoyama Taikan, Umehara Ryuzaburo, Suda Kunitaro, and others.
The Tsubakikai continued thereafter as one of Shiseido's flagship exhibition activities, its membership changing periodically throughout a total of five incarnations as of this writing.
The Fifth Tsubakikai was conceived as a forum for interaction and mutual influence, a place for the participating artists to allow their differing personalities and sensibilities to mix and mingle and stimulate their creative processes. This exhibition used the Shiseido Art House as a stage on which to present a portion of the resulting works showing the fruits of this effort.

Oil Paintings from the Shiseido Art House Collection — Works from the Mid-Twentieth-Century Art World

28 March (Fri) to 29 June (Sun), 2003

This exhibition featured Western-style paintings by seventeen artists active during the middle of the twentieth century.
The history of galleries showing modern art in Japan began in the very early 1900s, and it was in 1919 that the Shiseido Gallery, too, opened its doors to the public. It has operated nearly continuously ever since, and by now has hosted well over 3,000 exhibitions. Most of the works on display in this exhibition were selected from those appearing in these shows. Artists like Yamaguchi Kaoru, Oka Shikanosuke, Hayashi Takeshi and Somiya Ichinen were members of Shiseido-sponsored exhibitions like Mayumikai and the Tsubakikai exhibitions, while Suda Kunitaro, an artist who built a unique position for himself on the stage of Western-style painting, held his first solo show at the gallery in 1932. This exhibition offered an excellent opportunity to look back on the work of these and other significant artists who exhibited at the Shiseido Gallery over a long period spanning the mid-twentieth century.

Pictures on Paper: Prints, Watercolors & Pastels

10 January (Fri) to 23 March (Sun), 2003

This exhibition featured thirty-two works on paper—prints, watercolors, pastels, drawings—selected from the Shiseido Art House collection. The ten artists represented included: Bernard Buffet, Pericle Fazzini, Emilio Greco, Giacomo Manzu, Kitaoka Fumio, Kinutani Koji, Komura Settai, Domoto Yūmi, Funakoshi Katsura, and Yamaguchi Gen.
These artists came from a variety of mediums and genres, from Japanese- and Western–style painting to printing and sculpture, their subject matter including everything from landscapes, still lifes and portraits to theater set design. This exhibition showing these artists' diverse ways of expressing themselves on simple paper offered a chance to appreciate their appeal anew.