NOJI Koichiro (Director, Sen-oku Hakuko Kan tokyo museum)
Unexpectedly, we received many entries from Nihonga(Japanese-style painting) groups. Nihonga artists are perhaps inclined to flock together. Still, I get the impression that, in their efforts to create “new Nihonga,” the groups are not clearly grasping the meaning of “newness” in content and expression. Amid this, “creo” displays a stance of seeking difference and friction, or else synchronism, between “painting structure” and “architectural structure,” and I look forward to seeing how the two structures resonate together. Concerning “Is it possible ‘TOHOKU-GA’?” I was beguiled by MISE Natsunosuke’s eloquent explanation, yet his observations concerning the existence of a native ancestry in “Tohoku,” based on maps of the Japan Sea, were convincing. When we consider that Tokyo is Japan’s farthest region from Pyongyang on the Korean peninsula, while Kyushu and Tohoku are the closest, then it suddenly gets interesting, topographically as well. It would also be interesting if Mise were to cast light on the meaning possessed by Nihonga when it is viewed without national borders.
OTANI Shogo (Curator Department of Programs Deveiopment ,The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo)
I too, like Mr. Noji, was surprised at the many entries by Nihonga groups. In each of the projects, I could sense a desire to do something different, but I also felt that the artists stopped at newness within a certain framework. In this regard, the groups selected this time aroused my expectations that they might give us something interesting. Also, although I think “SUNSHINE NETWORK Japan” is ambitious in wanting to do something under a “war painting” theme, the subject of war paintings is fraught with extremely complex problems. The group’s presentation implied that they would treat it simply as an art problem, but there are many viewers who will be unable to accept it as such. Toward such people, I hope they will be prepared to offer constructive discussion.
KASASHIMA Tadayuki (Chief Curator, Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Moji)
It is unfortunate no calligraphy groups made it to the second jurying stage this time. Every year, I hear, there are mistakes made in filling out papers or insufficient content provided. For young calligraphers, such chances as this are hard to come by, so I always hope to see one or two groups selected. Calligraphy groups generally are not accustomed to the “try something new” character of an exhibition like this one, so it would be nice if they could explore the possibilities and come up with good ideas. It may be difficult, I have a feeling, but it would be good if young people in calligraphy groups could discover more of a nuance of fun, like that of the artists this time who grapple with their “psychological complex about art.” In this group-format public entry exhibition, we want to see entrants taking differences in thinking and sensibilities back to their own fields and broadly conveying them to others.
MINAMISHIMA Hiroshi (Professor, Joshibi University of Art and Design)
We received entries of wide-ranging kinds again this time. In this regard, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum’s openness to elements of many varieties offers opportunity to broaden the museum’s image. Then, this openness of approach also resonates in the art world as an important announcement of policy. Although not always easy to realize, I hope the museum will take this as a substantial mission and do its best. Responding to the earnest will of a group such as “SUNSHINE NETWORK Japan,” for example, will reinforce a sense of trust in the art museum, and I, as a jury member, want to be of support. In any case, I am hopeful it will be an exhibition fully displaying the increasing range of entries each year, and that it will be seen by many visitors.
MAMURO Yoshitake (Director, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum)
Groups formed by artists belonging to Nihonga associations have undertaken a project to pursue new expression. Although such activity is rare among existing bodies, the trend we see of artists transcending their affiliations to form groups with other artists, so as to enter exhibitions, is needed in the art scene, and our art museum wants to support this trend. In order to hold art exhibitions that are satisfactory for both the artists and audience of museum, we as an art museum will endeavor to suitably judge and accommodate artworks of wide-ranging varieties.