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Corporate Japan’s high-profile purchases of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces during the bubble-economy in the late 1980s and early 1990s are generally seen as examples of senseless posturing. But imagine how those paintings — the ones that remain in this country, that is — would seem to an artist who has never set foot out of Asia. Actually, don’t imagine, read:

“I’m really lucky to be able to come to Tokyo. In Tokyo, I could see Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne. I used to think I’d have to go to Europe (to see those artists’ works). Now I have seen them here, I can go anywhere.”

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