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The 60th Japan Traditional Kōgei Exhibition
Engendering Beauty, Preserving Techniques: Artworks by Living National Treasures

The 60th Japan Traditional Kōgei Exhibition
Engendering Beauty, Preserving Techniques: Artworks by Living National Treasures
Heiseikan Special Exhibition Gallery 3 & 4   January 15, 2014 (Wed) - February 23, 2014 (Sun)

  
Bowl, Flowers in overglaze enamel, By Imaizumi Imaemon XIII, 1996

Some decorative art artists, receiving praise for their dedication to and pursuit of their art forms, are selected as Living National Treasures. This exhibition, the first of its kind, displays masterpieces by successive generations of Living National Treasures, together with famous examples of decorative art that include National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties.

General Information

Period Wednesday, January 15 - Sunday, February 23, 2014
Venue Heiseikan Special Exhibition Gallery 3 & 4, Tokyo National Museum (Ueno Park)
Hours 9:30 - 17:00 (Last entry 30 minutes before closing)
Closed Mondays
Admission Adults: 1000 (800) yen
University students: 800 (600) yen
High school students: 600 (400) yen
Junior high school students and under: Free
* Prices shown in ( ) indicate group (more than 20 persons) discount tickets.
* Advance tickets available only for the two exhibitions, and for the three exhibitions.

Set admission tickets for the two exhibitions "Admired from Afar: Masterworks of Japanese Painting from the Cleveland Museum of Art" and "Engendering Beauty, Preserving Technique: Artworks by Living National Treasures"
Adults: 1600 (1400) yen
University students: 1400 (1200) yen
High school students: 1000 (800) yen
Junior high school students and under: Free
* Prices shown in ( ) indicate advance and group (more than 20 persons) discount tickets.
* Persons with disabilities are admitted free with one accompanying person each.
* Advance tickets will be on sale at the Museum ticket office (during museum hours, 30 minutes before closing hour), Exhibition Website, e-Ticket Pia (P-code:765-822), Lawson Ticket (L-code:37002), Seven Ticket (Seven code:025-227), E-Plus and other major ticketing agencies from Tuesday, October 1, 2013 to Tuesday, January 14, 2014.  

 

Access 10 minutes' walk from JR Ueno Station (Park exit) and Uguisudani Station
15 minutes' walk from Keisei Ueno Station, Tokyo Metro Ueno Station and Tokyo Metro Nezu Station
Organizer Tokyo National Museum, Agency for Cultural Affairs, NHK, NHK Promotions Inc., The Asahi Shimbun,
NIHON KOGEIKAI
With the Sponsorship of Kao Corporation, Nissha Printing Co., Ltd
General Inquiries 03-5405-8686 (Hello Dial)
Exhibition Website http://www.nichibisai.jp(In Japanese)
The website has closed with the end of the exhibition.

Set discount advance tickets for the three exhibitions Sold Out(August 12, 2013)

Set discount advance tickets for the three exhibitions; "Admired from Afar: Masterworks of Japanese Painting from the Cleveland Museum of Art", "Engendering Beauty, Preserving Technique: Artworks by Living National Treasures"(at Tokyo National Museum) and "The Masterpieces of NIHONGA"(at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. Please have a choice of the first half period or the second half).
Set discount advance tickets will be on sale at Exhibition Website and other major ticketing agencies from Thersday, August 1, 2013 to Monday, September 30, 2013, 5000 limited. (This ticket is not for sale at the Museum ticket office)

Set advance tickets for the three exhibitions End of sale (January 15, 2014)
Set advance tickets for three exhibitions (Adults: 2400 yen) will be on sale at the Museum ticket office (during museum hours, 30 minutes before closing hour), Exhibition Website, e-Ticket Pia (P-code:765-822), Lawson Ticket (L-code:37002), Seven Ticket (Seven code:025-227), E-Plus and other major ticketing agencies from Tuesday, October 1, 2013 to Tuesday, January 14, 2014.

Exhibitions held simultaneously

<Thematic Exhibition>   The Present of Living National Treasures (Heiseikan Thematic Exhibition Room)

Highlights of the Exhibition


Chapter 1: Reverence for Classics and Rivalry to Them
Chapter 2: Aiming for Lively Decorative Arts of Today
Chapter 3: Expanding Possibilities of the Tradition

 

Chapter 1: Reverence for Classics and Rivalry to Them

Decorative arts have added beauty to vessels,clothing, and other utensils that we use in daily life by utilizing technical skills which suited the liking of the people and the time and place they were used. 

Since ancient times, decorative arts have been deeply and strongly connected with Japanese people's lives. Japanese classical works of decorative arts include Jomon pottery with f lamelike decoration from the prehistoric period, the Shosoin Treasures, Buddhist art objects and other works from the ancient and medieval periods, tea ceremony utensils which were developed in the Momoyama period, and decorative arts of the Edo period demonstrating a rich variety of techniques, as well as folk crafts (mingei) fostered in the lives of commoners, developing simple but powerful charm. They show how people gave these objects they used in cultural activities and daily lives beautiful designs and decorations with echniques devised based on the natural environment of Japan, making us imagine how they have lived with that beauty.
Attracted by the beauty of skill and techniques of such classical works of decorative arts handed down through many centuries, the modern and contemporary artists have strived to create works which could compare with those classics. This chapter features works produced by living national treasures with admirable devotion, together with classical works which served as models for them or influenced their artistic attitudes.

 

Furisode garment VS Furisode garment
Furisode garment, design of standing screens and hawks on white crepe ground
Edo period, 18th century
Tokyo National Museum
  Furisode garment with phoenix and paulownia design on hitokoshi (finely crinkled) crepe ground
By Tabata Kihachi III, 1954
National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto

 

Tebako (cosmetic box), design of viii wheels
            half-submerged in stream in maki-e lacquer and mother-of-pearl inlay Tebako (cosmetic box), design of wheels half-submerged in stream in maki-e lacquer and mother-of-pearl inlay
National Treasure
Heian period, 12th century
Tokyo National Museum

 

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Chapter 2: Aiming for Lively Decorative Arts of Today

Japanese decorative arts had continued to live, innovating themselves to adapt to the trends of the times for many centuries. However, after the Meiji Restoration a huge wave of changes which has never been experienced before came in the lives of Japanese people. The tendencies to mechanization and mass-production under the government's policy to increase production and promote industry had a serious impact on Japanese decorative arts which put value on work by hand. The World War II not only caused the shortage of materials and made it difficult to produce decorative art works using traditional techniques, but also deprived of persons with those techniques. After the wartime hardships, the circumstances of decorative art work production and the lifestyles of the Japanese as the soil for the growth of decorative arts changed greatly. To survive the days when traditions were put into question, traditional decorative arts began to aim for the functional beauty which suited the requirements of the time. While being keenly conscious of the tradition, the artists worked to create new techniques and expressions.
What are decorative arts alive today? Here are the artists' answers to that question.

 

Cuddling   Cuddling
By Hirata Goyo, 1966
Private collection

 

Box decorated with colors and kirikane, Named “Elegance of Flowers and Wind”
By Eri Sayoko, 1991
Agency for Cultural Affairs
  Box decorated with colors and kirikane Named Elegance of
            Flowers and Wind

 

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Chapter 3: Expanding Possibilities of the Tradition

Japanese decorative arts developed along with the trends and vogues of the times.
Even the activities of great foreign artists such as Matisse and Picasso as well as various art movements including Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Abstract Art influenced Japanese decorative artists. There arose a tendency among the artists to depart from the conventionality and common sense of the field and establish positions as independent artists, putting more importance on originality. It was not enough only to preserve and hand down the traditional techniques; artists were now required to use their own ingenuity and creativity. Increasing diversity of Japanese decorative arts today may well revolutionize the present concept of the tradition. Based on the traditional techniques and manners, works which put more importance on creativity and unique designs came to be accepted widely in society. The artists of these works introduced a new framework of the tradition and expanded possibilities of the tradition. Evaluation of their achievements in view of the tradition remains to be established in the future.

 

Jar with brilliant glaze
            Named Eternal River    Jar with brilliant glaze, Named "Eternal River"
Tokuda Yasokichi III, 2003
Komatsu City Museum, Ishikawa

 

 

Bamboo flower vessel, Named "Roaring Waves"
By Shono Shounsai, 1956
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
  Bamboo flower vessel,
            Named Roaring Waves

 

 

Red lacquered brazier
            with twisted rope design   Red lacquered brazier with twisted rope design
By Kuroda Tasuaki, 1962
Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi /td>

 

Three Birds
Three Birds
By Sasaki Shodo, 1960
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

 

 

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