Kyosai and Kyosui -The Soul of the Artist as Pioneered by Father and Daughter

Tokyo Fuji Art Museum

poster for Kyosai and Kyosui -The Soul of the Artist as Pioneered by Father and Daughter

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The popularity of Kawanabe Kyosai has grown in recent years with a series of much-talked-about exhibitions. This exhibition features Kyosai and his daughter Kyosui. Kyosai played an active role in the art scene from the end of the Edo period (1603-1867) to the first half of the Meiji period (1868-1912) as a Kano School painter as well as demonstrating a broad range of styles in extensive fields of art by eagerly learning the techniques of other schools. Kyosai’s daughter Kyosui, excelled in soft and colorful paintings of beautiful women and children but at times also created heroic or humorous works like her father.

The Kawanabe family not only possesses over 3,000 preparatory drawings and sketches that divulge his extraordinary skills as a painter but also many works and documents from the late Edo period. Since Kyosai’s great-granddaughter, Kusumi Kawanabe founded the Kawanabe Kyosai Memorial Museum, her research of Kyosai has revealed his wide-ranging artist career in more detail.

This exhibition gives a comprehensive view of Kyosai’s works including finished paintings, ukiyo-e prints, illustrations, Noh/Kyogen paintings and impromptu paintings, which so far have only been introduced in part. The exhibit also includes legendary anecdotes that made Kyosai what he was.
Kyosai, the painter, was abounding in a pioneering spirit such as taking in advanced new painting techniques, expressions, and even new themes, while at the same time completely acquiring the traditional Kano School styles and techniques. It is well-known that British architect, Josiah Conder, was apprenticed to Kyosai, but what brought his rise to fame abroad at that time was probably also due to his active and pioneering activities as a painter.

At the end of the exhibition will be an epilogue presented as “Kyosai’s Legacy” The section introduces from various angles the charms of Kyosai that were passed down to Kyosui and to the Kawanabe family that have been rediscovered in recent years. Exhibits will include the record of works created by children who participated in the workshop at the Kyosai exhibition held at the British Museum in 1993, to show how Kyosai’s works offer rich inspiration to adults and children in our time.



from April 01, 2018 to June 24, 2018



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