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Past Special Exhibition 2019

Craft for All of Us II – Part 1
— An exhibition of Shiseido’s Philosophy Making Beauty Part of Everyday Life —

September 25(Wed) to December 15(Sun), 2019

Founded in 2015, the Shiseido Art House’s Craft for All of Us exhibitions have introduced hand-crafted artisanal items that over the years have grown distant from people’s everyday lives, yet have increasingly come to be regarded as works of art. The Craft for All of Us exhibitions first set out to reverse this trend by showing how artisanal objects could be returned to the realm of everyday life, and were originally conceived to promote Shiseido’s “proposal for beautiful lifestyles” in the form of exhibitions.

These exhibitions have regularly featured new creations by five select artists in agreement with the central theme and motivation behind the exhibition. Arranged in combination with a variety of objects and implements borrowed from the Shiseido collection, these works have been put on display to evoke the seasons, complement room décors, or highlight annual cultural activities, providing lively examples of appealing ways to use and enjoy hand-crafted objects in everyday life.

In the Craft for All of Us II exhibition, which represents the second phase of the series, the concepts that gave rise to the Craft for All of Us exhibitions continue, albeit with a different lineups of artists. Here, five new artists present numerous new works that keep the premise of being “usable in everyday life” firmly in mind, and can and should be carefully preserved for posterity.

Ushijima Noriyuki and the “Mayumi-Kai“ Painters from The Shiseido Collection
Other concurrently held exhibition: Small Things Are All Beautiful

July 2(Tue) to September 1(Sun), 2019

The original Mayumi-Kai (Mayumi Club) Art Exhibition was a group exhibition sponsored by the Shiseido Gallery between 1950 and 1968 that focused on Western-style paintings and sculptures. The first exhibition was planned for the Shiseido Gallery by Imaizumi Atsuo (1902 – 1984), first curator of The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto and pioneer of art criticism in Japan.

In the exhibition held at this time, which centered on the works of Ushijima Noriyuki, one of the founding members of the Mayumi-Kai, works by fellow founding members Wakita Kazu, Yamaguchi Kaoru, Oka Shikanosuke and Yabashi Rokurō were also on display. This select collection enabled Art House visitors to fully appreciate the superb quality of creative expression that symbolized a fertile period of time in Japan’s postwar world of Western-style painting.

Additionally, another exhibit, entitled Small Things Are All Beautiful, also ran concurrently in our small exhibition room. A great many beautiful and fascinating craft works, including studio glass, ceramics, lacquerware and metalwork, were selected from among the art crafts stored in the Art House collection and placed on display so that all could be variously enjoyed, however seen.

The Pleasures of the Print:
Woodblock, Copperplate, Lithograph, Silkscreen

April 9(Tue) — June 23(Sun), 2019

An exhibition was also held that focused on hanga print art, a genre long familiar in Japan, through a collection of modern works created by a diverse selection of artists using a variety of techniques.

The use of a single printing plate to produce multiple versions of a work is a feature common to most forms of print art, which are categorized into four general techniques: relief printing (typified by woodblock prints); intaglio printing (typified by copperplate printing); lithography (lithographs); and stenciling (silkscreen). Such printing techniques have been used all over the world since ancient times.

This exhibition focused on modern and contemporary printing, which has taken advantage of a variety of techniques to expand the field of expressive potential. The approximately 70 prints on display included works by copperplate artists Tetsurō Komai and Yōzō Hamaguchi, both active worldwide; Japanese-style painters like Settai Komura and Tatsuo Takayama; Western-style painters like Kazu Wakita and Kazumasa Nakagawa (1893–1991); and contemporary artists like Lee Ufan and Noe Aoki.

Tsubaki tsurezure — Finding Camellias, One by One

January 16(Wed) — March 31(Sun), 2019

In the early spring of this year, an exhibition was held at the Shiseido Art House that focused on the theme of the camellia blossom, featuring pictorial, craft and antique works.

This exhibition featured Japanese-style paintings by Taikan Yokoyama, Hōshun Yamaguchi, and Settai Komura; oil paintings by Seiji Chōkai and Takeshi Hayashi; lacquerware and ceramics by Shōsai Kitamura, Imaemon Imaizumi XIII and Kōichi Tamura; and from the Shiseido Corporate Museum collection the Edo-period 100 tsubakizu (One Hundred Camellia Drawings) manuscript, which shows over 100 types of camellias on various furnishings, as well as Edo-period cosmetic implements and furniture decorated with matsu-tsubaki makie (pine tree and camellia patterns decorated with sprinkled gold lacquer).

The camellia blossom forms the core of Shiseido’s corporate logo, and the very image of this flower would be difficult to separate from the Shiseido name. There is an enduring connection between the two, and each year when the camellias bloom, Shiseido borrows the beauty of the new blossoms to renew its dedication to creating beauty.

While this exhibition was being held, the camellias started to flower in the Art House garden, enabling visitors to enjoy both these natural blossoms and the ones interpreted by human hands on such exemplary works of art and craft.