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Koji Kinutani’s entire career — from his student work to his metaphysical portraiture, which inaugurated a manga trend in contemporary art; his Styrofoam sculptures; the “Goddess of the Silvery Peak” (the basis for the official 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Games poster); and his sometimes frightening Kyoto landscapes — is up for review at The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto. All this led to his appointment to The Japan Art Academy in 2001 and recognition as a Person of Cultural Merit in 2014.

Kinutani was born in Nara in 1943 to the proprietors of the famous Meishukan restaurant, which catered to the elites of the day — statesmen, such a the London-educated Hirobumi Ito, and the writers and painters of the White Birch school of artists. When his parents divorced, he was raised on the premises by an aunt, uncle and nannies, instilling in him feelings of impermanence and disorientation that lingered into adulthood.

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