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Past Special Exhibition 2006

Japanese Masterpieces from the Collection: Part Two

6 October (Fri) to 28 January (Sun), 2006

This exhibition was a continuation of the previous years' exhibition, Japanese Masterpieces from the Collection.
Over the years Shiseido has built an extensive art collection from the works appearing in the various exhibitions it has sponsored at the Shiseido Gallery as part of its ongoing efforts to support artistic culture. Many of these originated with the Shiseido-sponsored Tsubakikai artists exhibition group, now in its sixth incarnation since its inception in 1947.
This exhibition included twenty-five works by eight members of the third Tsubakikai (1974–90), including Okumura Togyu, Uemura Shoko, Iwahashi Eien and others working in various genres including landscape paintings, flower-and-bird paintings, and portraits. In a separate space on the premises, four lacquer craftsmen, including Taguchi Yoshikuni, all considered “national living treasures,” also exhibited their work. With this combination of Japanese painting and lacquer work, this exhibition offered an excellent opportunity to touch the aesthetic consciousness that the Japanese people have cultivated since antiquity.

100 Years of Perfume Bottles

7 July (Fri) to 1 October (Sun), 2006

This exhibition featured over sixty examples of perfume bottles from the 100-year period that started at the dawn of the twentieth century.
It was in the twentieth century that the use of perfumes gained widespread acceptance and developed accordingly. In France, the connection of perfume manufacture with the efficiencies of industry factored significantly in spurring perfume usage among a wide range of people from different social classes throughout the Western world. It was in this connection that bottles of various shapes and sizes were designed to hold such fragrances. In particular, the heyday of Art Deco period during the 1920s and 1930s was a particularly golden age for such bottles, and the artistry of these and their extraordinary variation can be attributed to the unparalleled glass design skills of luminaries like René Lalique.
All of the perfume bottles on display are part of Shiseido's collection, with examples by Lalique being particularly prominent. This exhibition offered visitors an opportunity to know the history of these bottles, which came to the fore about a century ago and have changed ever since along with the aesthetic tastes of the changing times.

Suzuki Osamu Exhibition — Absract Ceramics & Practical Wares

7 April (Fri) to 2 July (Sun), 2006

This exhibition featured the work of Suzuki Osamu (1926–2001), one of the leading figures in the avant-garde of pottery crafts.
Almost all of us are familiar with pottery wares used as part of our everyday lives, but in the 1950s a number of potters began making ceramics with no practical application, instead using the clay and fire as a form of pure self expression. Suzuki was one of these, freeing his ceramic wares from the restrictions of “usefulness” to gradually build a new field in the world of art. These efforts were well received, both in the world of crafts and industrial arts and beyond.
This exhibition featured over sixty works that Suzuki had submitted to the Shiseido-sponsored Exhibition of Modern Industrial Arts (1975–95),
as well as a number of plates, vases, and other more traditional ceramic vessels, at which he also excelled. Through these this exhibition offered an opportunity to glean the sincere passion Suzuki felt for his craft, both in his more strongly abstract sculptural pieces and the diverse practical wares that he also continued to enjoy making throughout his life.

Landscapes in Oil Painting

11 November (Wed) to 2 April (Sun), 2006

Landscape painting in Japan has traditionally concerned itself with locations famous for their beauty or historicity, or associated with Chinese ink painting traditions or literary subjects, and it has not been very long since painters began finding subject matter in “just plain landscapes” unassociated with any of these. In fact, the Japanese term for “landscape painting,” fukeiga, was coined as late as 1897, appearing that year in the art journal Bijutsu Hihyo (Art Critic). Shortly thereafter, the 1899 Hakubakai exhibition showed a work simply titled, “Landscape,” and it was around this juncture that landscape painting first established itself among the various genres of pictorial art. To put it another way, landscapes had always existed, but it was only at this point that the people looking into such spaces began to appreciate their distinct value.
This exhibition selected over twenty oil-painted landscapes from the Shiseido Art House collection, focusing on modern and contemporary works in order to highlight the diverse directions in which the genre has developed, offering viewers an opportunity to appreciate how such scenes were “clipped from the landscape” by artistic vision and then reproduced in oils on canvas.