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Past Special Exhibition 2012

Exhibition by Isoi Masami, Japanese Living National Treasure
The Urushi Art of Takamatsu — The Beauty & Art of Kinma

2 October (Tue) through 16 December (Sun), 2012

The Shiseido Art House was pleased to present an exhibition by Japanese lacquer (urushi) artist Isoi Masami (1926–), a “living national treasure” most noted for works using the exquisite lacquer technique of “kinma.

Isoi Masami's detailed, attentive approach often features motifs from nature, including not only images of animals and plants, but also ever-changing natural phenomena like shimmering summer haze and ocean waves, and with this he has established his own distinct manner of expression. He has also created a variety of new carving, coloring, and foundation-building techniques that are bringing a new sense of freshness to the world of kinma.

Shiseido's relationship with Isoi Masami began in 1978, when he contributed a series of representative works to Shiseido's 4th Exhibition of Modern Industrial Arts (1975 through 1995).

This retrospective exhibition featured forty-seven works and related materials from across the span of Isoi's career, brought together through the cooperation of museums like the Takamatsu City Museum of Art (which houses Japan's largest Isoi collection) and various private collectors, to introduce both the artistry and creative career of this “living national treasure” lacquer craftsman.

Again This Year, Contemporary Art

3 July (Tue) through 23 September (Sun), 2012

Continuing on the theme of last year's exhibition (“Contemporary Art... Come Have Look?”), this show offered an opportunity to come explore and feel the world of contemporary art and abstract representation firsthand.

The twelve artists whose works were shown included Nomiyama Gyoji, long a powerful force in the forefront of Japanese abstract art; Tatsuno Toeko, the first woman to have a solo show at the Tokyo Museum of Modern Art; and Lee U-Fan, noted theorist of the Mono-ha (“School of Things”) that profoundly influenced post-war Japanese art and still an active participant on the international contemporary art scene. With such a lineup of artists born anywhere from the 1920s to the 1960s, the twenty-five works on display showed a similarly broad range of technique and expressive style.

All of these artists were also participants in the Tsubakikai, the Shiseido-sponsored artist exhibition group that has been active on and off since 1947. The Tsubakikai exhibitions, created to support artistic culture, continue today as the group is in its sixth iteration, now a venue for artists to explore not only figurative representation, but also more contemporary realms of expression.

Recreating the Third Tsubakikai 1
Japanese & Western Style Paintings of the 1970s at the Shiseido Gallery

3 April (Tue) through 24 June (Sun), 2012

This year the Shiseido Art House celebrated Shiseido's 140th anniversary with a “re-exhibition” of works originally shown in the Third Tsubakikai Exhibitions, the group exhibition series considered representative of the company's support of the arts.
This exhibition presented a “re-exhibition” of works produced for the Third Tsubakikai by founding members Tōgyu Okumura, Takayama Tatsuo, and Oka Shikanosuke. This Third Tsubakikai was one of the longest-running (1974 to 1990), and the works it created form an important portion of the core of the Shiseido art collection.

The Appeal of Prints — Copperplate, Woodblock, Silkscreen, and Lithograph

14 January (Sat) through 25 March (Sun), 2012

Bringing in the 2012 New Year, the Shiseido Art House presented The Pleasures of Printing — Woodblock, Copperplate & Lithography, an exhibition of about fifty works by artists using a diversity of print-making techniques. Artists featured included internationally known copperplate printers like Yōzō Hamaguchi, Tetsurō Komai, and Masuo Ikeda; woodblock artists like Gen Yamaguchi and Hitoshi Karasawa; modern artists like Lee U-Fan, Hisashi Momose, and Toeko Tatsuno; and ukiyoe-influenced printers like Settai Komura.