The complicated perception of heroism

Art Feb 26, 2019

The complicated perception of heroism

by Matthew Larking

As the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art's final Heisei Era (1989-2019) exhibition, this ambitious and somewhat provocative show looks back on the socio-political roles art played in the midst of the past 90 or so years.

Take a journey into the art of darkness

Art Aug 22, 2017

Take a journey into the art of darkness

by Matthew Larking

Terror and tragedy are widely considered entirely disagreeable in principle. But audiences have for millennia taken pleasure in the pain of narrative spectacles in the arts. Fear is popular because it arouses curiosity in addition to revulsion. So, too, does the assemblage of Western ...

Japan's conflicted art of World War II

Art Jun 7, 2016

Japan's conflicted art of World War II

by Matthew Larking

The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art's current exhibition, "1945±5: The Works that Survived through the Turbulent and Reconstruction Era," showcases modern Japanese art five years either side of the pivotal end of World War II. It addresses oil painting and mostly follows a conventional ...

'Tomioka Tessai Retrospective'

Art / Openings Outside Tokyo Mar 8, 2016

'Tomioka Tessai Retrospective'

by Daisuke Kikuchi

March 12-May 8 Described as the last artist to paint bunjinga (literati painting, influenced by traditional Chinese culture) and as one of the first to pursue nihonga (Japanese style painting), Tessai Tomioka (1836-1924) left behind many masterpieces. These include shinkei-zu paintings of scenery that he ...

Art / Openings Outside Tokyo Dec 1, 2015

'Giorgio Morandi: Infinite Variations'

by Daisuke Kikuchi

Dec. 8-Feb. 14 The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art asks how Giorgio Morandi's paintings of simple bottles can be so heartwarming. The still-life painter Morandi (1890-1964) favored everyday objects as subjects, often depicting the same item repeatedly in an exploration of how composition can affect ...

A revue of Japan's femininity

Art Sep 4, 2014

A revue of Japan's femininity

by Matthew Larking

Ichizo Kobayashi (1873-1957) was the founder of the West Japan Hankyu train line and department store in Osaka's central Umeda district. Arguably his most significant artistic contribution was the establishment of the Takarazuka Music School in 1913, which combined a modern education with the ...

Kansetsu Hashimoto's Chinese rebellion

Art Sep 25, 2013

Kansetsu Hashimoto's Chinese rebellion

by Matthew Larking

From the end of the Edo Period (1603-1867), Japanese art began to shift its fundamental cultural orientation from China to Europe. Kansetsu Hashimoto, however, (1883-1945) initially abjured, and this had much to do with his upbringing Born in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, his father was an ...

'Hashimoto Kansetsu Retrospective'

Art / Openings Outside Tokyo Sep 11, 2013

'Hashimoto Kansetsu Retrospective'

by Jordan Sievers

In honor of the 130th anniversary of nihonga (Japanese-style painting) artist Kansetsu Hashimoto's birth, the Hyogo Museum presents around 70 of his most famous works. As a scholar of Chinese culture and history, Hashimoto's artistic style mirrors that of traditional Chinese folklore, featuring elegantly illustrated ...

On the mechanics of <em>anime</em> illustration

Art Apr 25, 2013

On the mechanics of anime illustration

by Erik Luebs

The 1970s was an important decade for the development of Japanese pop-cultural icons. Kindergarten children back then would likely have been introduced to the characters Doraemon (1969), Anpanman (1973) and Hello Kitty (1974).