Tokyo ⇆ Okinawa: Ikebukuro-Montparnasse and Nishimui Art Village

Itabashi Art Museum

poster for Tokyo ⇆ Okinawa: Ikebukuro-Montparnasse and Nishimui Art Village
[Image: Yuzo Saeki "Shimo-Ochiai Scene (Tennis)" (c. 1926) Collection of Shinjuku Ward Ochiai Daiichi Elementary School]

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Ikebukuro, located in the north of Tokyo, was often referred to as Ikebukuro-Montparnasse in the 1930s because of the sheer number of houses that had artist ateliers attached to them. Here, painters such as the young Aimitsu, Saburo Aso, Choukou Haebaru and Keiichi Yamamoto, who both relocated from Okinawa, and poet Hideo Oguma gathered together in the hope of seeking out new artistic expression while working hard to establish themselves in their individual fields. In the nearby Ochiai Culture Village, painters including Yuzo Saeki, Shunsuke Matsumoto and Okinawa-born Aijun Nadoyama were also living together with literary figures and musicians. In this way both Ikebukuro and Ochiai cultivated the work of artists active in various genres. With the onset of the Pacific War in 1941, however, these communities and their free approach to expression was lost.
Ikebukuro-Montparnasse was rebuilt in the years following the war, making way for the next generation of painters, who brought with them new art movements. Meanwhile, Nadoyama, Yamamoto and other Okinawan artists who had lived in Ikebukuro and Ochai during their student days returned home and established Nishimui Art Village in Shuri, Okinawa, an area devastated in by fighting in 1948.
This exhibition introduces a cross section of cultural exchange between Tokyo and Okinawa through around 90 artworks spanning the prewar years up until the signing of the Okinawa Reversion Agreement in 1971. It is the first exhibition in Tokyo to introduce the full range of works that were created in among these atelier villages.

[Related Events]
Talk Event: Nishimui Art Village, Okinawa and Artists
Date: Feb. 24 (Sat), 14:00-15:30 (doors open 13:00)
Speakers: Hiroya Maeda (Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum, Deputy Director of former art museum), Megumi Tomiyama (Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum, chief curator of the art museum)
Venue: 1F Auditorium, Itabashi Art Museum
Admission: Free (no booking required)
Capacity: 100

Gallery Talks
Dates: Mar. 3 (Sat), 17 (Sat), 24 (Sat), 31 (Sat), 14:00-15:00
Admission:: Free (no booking required)
Venue: 2F Exhibition Space

*Events in Japanese.
*Please see the official website for further details and information on other events.

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from February 24, 2018 to April 15, 2018

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