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    Two Journeys: Aoki Shigeru and Sakamoto Hanjiro Commemorating the 140th Anniversary of Their Births

    30 July [Sat] - 16 October [Sun], 2022

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    About this exhibition

    Aoki Shigeru(1882-1911)and Sakamoto Hanjiro(1882-1969)were both born in what is now Kurume, Fukuoka prefecture. They studied at the same elementary school, enrolled at the same private Western-style art school, and both aimed to become painters. In a period when Western-style painting was approaching maturity in Japan, each pursued his own individual style. Aoki made his debut in the world of painting while studying at the Tokyo Fine Arts School (now Tokyo University of the Arts). His A Gift of the Sea attracted attention amidst the rise of the trend towards Meiji Romanticism, winning him acclaim while still quite young. Despite his career’s brilliant start, he spent the last years of his life traveling aimlessly around Kyushu. His dream of returning to the heart of the art world unrealized, he died quite young. Sakamoto, stimulated by Aoki, also moved to Tokyo, where he made his debut several years after Aoki’s. After studying abroad in Paris, he returned to his hometown, where he steadily created work on a variety of themes, including horses, still lifes, and the moon, until his death at 87. Over those years, he developed a tranquil world view.
    These two artists were utterly different in personality and style, but Aoki and Sakamoto were aware of each other and also, it is clear, competed with and encouraged each other. This exhibition commemorates the 140th anniversary of these two artists’ birth with about 250 of their works on display. The focus is on works that express their individual characteristics and their relationship with each other as we explore these two artists’ journeys during their occasionally intersecting lives.

    Aoki Shigeru
    Born in Kurume, Fukuoka prefecture, in 1882. In 1903, while studying at the Tokyo Fine Arts School (now Tokyo University of the Arts), he made his debut on the art scene with a group of works on mythological themes. The following summer, he stayed with his friends Sakamoto Hanjiro and Morita Tsunetomo and his lover Fukuda Tane in a fishing village on the Boso Peninsula (now Tateyama, Chiba prefecture). There his friend’s description of the landing of a huge catch stirred Aoki’s imagination, and he created A Gift of the Sea. He returned to Kurume in 1907 and then roamed aimlessly all over Kyushu. He had planned his return to the art world, but died, that dream unrealized, of tuberculosis in 1911, at the age of twenty-eight.

    Sakamoto Hanjiro
    Born in Kurume, Fukuoka prefecture, in 1882. In 1902, at Aoki’s invitation, he moved to Tokyo and studied at Fudosha, a private art school, and the Taiheiyo Art Research Institute. After Aoki’s death, he worked to honor him, organizing exhibitions of his work and editing a collection of his paintings. In 1912, his Usurebi (Faint Light, On loan to Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum), which he showed in the Bunten (Ministry of Education Exhibition), was highly praised by the novelist and art critic Natsume Soseki. In 1914, he took part in organizing the Nika Association, a society of progressive Western-style artists, and its Nika Exhibition. In 1924, after three years of study in Paris, he returned to his hometown, Kurume. In 1931, he moved to nearby Yame. He continued painting cows, horses, Noh masks, the moon, and other subjects, in his tranquil style, throughout his long life, which ended in 1969 at the age of 87.

    Exhibition overview

    Exhibition title

    Two Journeys: Aoki Shigeru and Sakamoto Hanjiro Commemorating the 140th Anniversary of Their Births

    Exhibition period

    30 July [Sat] - 16 October [Sun], 2022

    First half

    July 30 [Sat] - September 11 [Sun]

    Second half

    September 13 [Tue] - October 16 [Sun]

    Opening hours

    10:00 – 18:00 (until 20:00 on Fridays except September 23) ​​ * Last admission 30 minutes before​ closing

    Closed

    Mondays (except September 19, October 10), September 20, October 11

    Organizer

    Artizon Museum, Ishibashi Foundation

    Venue

    6,5F Galleries

    Touring exhibition

    Kurume City Art Museum, Main Building, 2F (Exhibition period: October 29 [Sat], 2022 - January 22 [Sun], 2023)

    Concurrent Exhibition

    July 20 [Wed] - October 16 [Sun], 2022
    Selections from the Ishibashi Foundation Collection Special Section Country, City, Family (4F Gallery)

    Ticket prices (incl. tax)

    On-line ticket Same day ticket
    General 1,600 yen *Credit card payments only 1,800 yen
    University
    college
    high school students
    Free entry Advance booking required
    Students must present their student ID upon entrance to the museum.
    Disabled visitors
    (plus one accompanying assistant)
    Free entry Advance booking required
    Children
    through junior high school
    Free entry Advance booking not required
    *Online tickets must be purchased up to 10 minutes before the end of each time slot.
    *Same day tickets on sale at museum are available only for time slots that have not reached full capacity.
    *Booking is not accepted when a time slot is full.
    *This admission fee gives the visitor access to the concurrent exhibitions.

    Art works

    SAKAMOTO Hanjiro《Three Grazing Horses》1932, Oil on canvas

    SAKAMOTO Hanjiro《Three Grazing Horses》1932, Oil on canvas

    AOKI Shigeru《Paradise under the Sea》1907, Oil on canvas, Important Cultural Property

    AOKI Shigeru《Paradise under the Sea》1907, Oil on canvas, Important Cultural Property

    AOKI Shigeru《Self-Portrait》1903, Oil on canvas

    AOKI Shigeru《Self-Portrait》1903, Oil on canvas

    AOKI Shigeru《Yomotsuhirasaka, Escape from the Land of the Dead》1903, Colored pencil, pastel and watercolor on paper, Tokyo University of the Arts *On display in the second half of the exhibition period.

    AOKI Shigeru《Yomotsuhirasaka, Escape from the Land of the Dead》1903, Colored pencil, pastel and watercolor on paper, Tokyo University of the Arts *On display in the second half of the exhibition period.

    AOKI Shigeru《Portrait of Sakamoto Hanjiro》1903, Pencil and watercolor on paper, Private Collection *On display in the first half of the exhibition period.

    AOKI Shigeru《Portrait of Sakamoto Hanjiro》1903, Pencil and watercolor on paper, Private Collection *On display in the first half of the exhibition period.

    AOKI Shigeru《Hot Spring》1910, Oil on canvas, Private Collection

    AOKI Shigeru《Hot Spring》1910, Oil on canvas, Private Collection

    AOKI Shigeru《A Gift of the Sea》1904, Oil on canvas, Important Cultural Property

    AOKI Shigeru《A Gift of the Sea》1904, Oil on canvas, Important Cultural Property

    AOKI Shigeru《Seascape》1904, Oil on canvas

    AOKI Shigeru《Seascape》1904, Oil on canvas

    SAKAMOTO Hanjiro《Self-Portrait》1929, Oil on paper

    SAKAMOTO Hanjiro《Self-Portrait》1929, Oil on paper

    SAKAMOTO Hanjiro《Woman with a Hat》1932, Oil on canvas

    SAKAMOTO Hanjiro《Woman with a Hat》1932, Oil on canvas

    SAKAMOTO Hanjiro《Cow》1919-65, Oil on canvas, Private Collection

    SAKAMOTO Hanjiro《Cow》1919-65, Oil on canvas, Private Collection

    SAKAMOTO Hanjiro《Noh Mask and Hand Drum Body》1962, Oil on canvas

    SAKAMOTO Hanjiro《Noh Mask and Hand Drum Body》1962, Oil on canvas

    SAKAMOTO Hanjiro《Flowerpots》1959, Oil on canvas, Kurume City Art Museum

    SAKAMOTO Hanjiro《Flowerpots》1959, Oil on canvas, Kurume City Art Museum

    SAKAMOTO Hanjiro《The Moon》1966, Oil on canvas, Muryojuin-Temple, on loan to Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art

    SAKAMOTO Hanjiro《The Moon》1966, Oil on canvas, Muryojuin-Temple, on loan to Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art

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