Get to Know the Artists in the “KIINSEIDO”

Here are the artists who are participating in the exhibition “Kiinseido - Hirakushi Denchu and Works Connecting Tradition with the Future”held at the Meiji Jingu's Treasure Museum.

Exhibition view of Kiinseido (2021)Original Source: Meiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art

About “Kiinseido”

 The term “Kiinseido” (気韻生動) means that a work of art is full of noble character, elegance, and vivacity. This phrase is said to have been coined by the Meiji-era thinker and art critic Kakuzo Okakura, who sought a state of being for painters. The exhibition will feature works by Hirakushi Denchu, who lived through the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa eras until the age of 107 and left behind wonderful wood sculptures, as well as contemporary artists Kiichi Sumikawa, Takashi Fukai, Katsura Funakoshi, Kimio Tsuchiya, Tatsuo Miyajima, Atsuhiko Misawa, Koji Tanada, Yoshihiro Suda, Tomotaka Yasui, Kohei Nawa, Yoshimasa Tsuchiya, secca, and paintings by Masato Kobayashi and Ryosuke Hara. Of particular note is the exhibition space, the Homotsuden Treasure Museum Chuso, built in 1921, and the display cases inside it, both of which are designated as National Important Cultural Properties. We hope you will enjoy the graceful works on display.

Singing Kimigayo (1901) by Hirakushi DenchūMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art

Denchu Hirakushi

Hirakushi Denchu has deep connections with Meiji Shrine. He is well known as a representative of modern sculpture in Japan, and when he was thirty years old his work “Shoka-kimigayo” was acquired by Emperor Meiji. In addition, construction of the Homotsuden Treasure Museum, which is registered as an important cultural asset and was completed in 1921, replicating the traditional Azekura log-built storehouse of the Shosoin treasure house in Nara, was built by Shintaro Oe. Oe’s son, Hiroshi Oe, and grandson, Shin Oe, would go on to build the Kodaira Hirakushi Denchu Art Museum and its workshop, respectively. Thus we can see how the fates of Hirakushi Denchu and Meiji Shrine are inseparably entwined.After he became a lecturer at Tokyo University of the Arts, many of Denchu’s works were donated to The University Art Museum. And when the Ibara Municipal Denchu Art Museum was opened in his hometown in Okayama, Japan’s top sculpture award, the Hirakushi Denchu Award, was established. 

double rainbow (2021) by Yoshimasa TsuchiyaMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art

Yoshimasa Tsuchiya

Born in Kanagwa in 1977. PhD in sculpture from the Tokyo University of the Arts, 2007. He works with the motif of animal sculptures which he employs as symbols to embody formless thoughts. He has established his own method of coloring, in which he applies layers of color so that the bark of the wood disappears, and the inner pale colors are just visible through a white surface. He uses a method traditionally used in making Buddhist statues, in which the head is split open and a stone or crystal eye is inserted, to create works with a mysterious expression. In addition to a special exhibition at the Yokosuka Museum of Art, he has participated in many group exhibitions held at public museums. His striking work is attracting more and more attention.

海景/烏帽子 (2019) by Kimio TsuchiyaMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art

Kimio Tsuchiya

Born in Fukui in 1955. MFA in sculpture from Chelsea College of Art and Design, 1989. After a time in London, he has been working in Europe, and his works are permanently installed at Grizedale Forest and the Musée d'Art Contemporain de la Vassivière, etc. He received the 3rd Fumio Asakura Award in 1990 and the 11th Shin Hongo Award in 2003. He continues to create poetic and thoughtful works using stone, glass, and waste materials that hold human memories. He has created public art and other sculptures that engrave the memories of the land and its people in Japan and abroad. In recent years, he has been creating sculptures that are integrated with traditional Japanese architecture, and creating installations that resonate with the memory and time of the space.

Mega Death 1999/2016 (2016) by Tatsuo MiyajimaMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art

Tastuo Miyajima

Born in Tokyo in 1957. Completed postgraduate studies at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1986, Miyajima was invited to the 43rd Venice Biennale: Aperto '88 (1988, Venice), with his works using digital numbers, which has received international acclaim. Since then, he has developed numerous public projects and exhibitions beyond the confines of the country. His recent solo shows include: “Being Coming” (Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, 2019), ”Sky of Time” (Espoo Museum of Modern Art, EMMA, Finland, 2019), “Connect with Everything” (Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 2016), “Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible” (The MET Breuer/New York, 2016).

mission [SPACE×ART]-beyond cosmologies (2014) by Kohei NawaMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art

Kohei Nawa

Born in Osaka in 1975. Currently based in Kyoto. He graduated from Kyoto City University of Arts with a Ph. D. in Fine Art Sculpture in 2003. He founded the art platform “SANDWICH” in 2009 to create works in Kyoto. He explores the potentiality of sculpture, working with beads, polyurethane foam, silicone oil, and a wide range of other technologies and materials, through his original concept “PixCell.” Nawa's recent projects extend this exploration to architecture and performance, to create both space and art. In 2018, he exhibited his monumental sculpture “Throne” in Musée du Louvre, France, while “VESSEL” - a dance creation developed with French-Belgian choreographer Damien Jalet, is on world tour since 2015."

japan? (2016) by seccaMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art


Founded in 2013 in Kanazawa by core members Tatsuya Uemachi and Yuichi Yanai. Doubting the common sense and preconceived notions of manufacturing, they reinterpret traditional techniques and inherit ideas in their own way, to create works by combining and re-editing them with the latest technology. They often creates works that question the state of industry from the standpoint of those involved in manufacturing, and their work is characterized by a process that makes full use of digital tools that have been created for industrial innovation.

TO THE SKY (2012) by Kiichi SumikawaMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art

Kiichi Sumikawa

Born in Shimane Prefecture in 1931. Graduated from Yamaguchi Prefectural Iwakuni Technical High School in 1951. While still in high school, he fell in love with the wooden Kintai Bridge and began researching it, which led him to aspire to become a sculptor. Graduated from the Department of Sculpture at Tokyo University of the Arts in 1956. 8th Hirakushi Denaka Prize 1979, Yoshida Gojuhachi Prize for the creation of the Yamaguchi Prefectural Government's front yard monument 1988, and many other awards. He works mainly in wood sculpture, focusing on the themes of "sleds" and "cambers". He was the supervisor of the Tokyo Sky Tree design and has created many large-scale monuments throughout Japan. Among his works, "Tower of Wind," an artificial floating island in Kawasaki on the Tokyo Bay Aqualine, is one of the most representative. He was appointed President of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1995, is a member of the Japan Academy of Fine Arts and Music, and was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit in 2008 and the Order of Cultural Merit in 2020.

Moon Garden -on a Starry Night- (2011) by Takashi FukaiMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art

Takashi Fukai

Born in Takasaki city, Gunma in 1951. 1976 Graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts BA. 1978 Graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts MA. One man Exhibitions 2020 Itabashi Art Museum [Stories in a Garden], 2019 Red Gold Fine Art, Taipei, 2018 University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts [Seven Stories]. Public Collections: The Museum of Modem Art, Saitama; Itabashi Art Museum; Tokyo University Art Museum; Tokyo University of the Arts, etc.

on the bank (2008) by Ryosuke HARAMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art

Ryosuke Hara

Born in Kanagawa in 1975. Graduated from Tama Art University, Department of Painting in 2000, and Graduate School of Art and Design, Tama Art University in 2002. Awarded the Grand Prize at Tokyo Wonder Wall 2001. Part-time lecturer at the Department of Painting, Tama Art University from 2013 to 2017. In 2018, he started a series of art lectures and workshops with Satoru Aoyama and Yoichi Takebayashi. Based on the theme "between people, nature, and painting," he incorporates conceptual elements such as multiple time periods and different spaces in his work, and considers painting to be a form of dimensional movement. Recent solo exhibitions include "on a color" at Engakuji temple Ryuinan in Kanagawa (2017) and "Myoe no Hakko" at second 2 in Tokyo (2020). Recent group exhibitions include "The Road Leading to (from) the Art Museum," Chigasaki Art Museum, Kanagawa (2019), and Sapporo International Art Festival 2020, Hokkaido (2020: cancelled, archive only).

Portrait of the artist (2019) by Masato KobayashiMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art

Masato Kobayashi

Born in Tokyo in 1957. Graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts (B.A.) in 1984. Selected to represent Japan at Bienal Internacional de Artes de São Paulo in 1996. Moved to Ghent, Belgium, at the invitation of Jan Hoet in 1997. Since then, he has worked locally in various places, returning to Japan in 2006. Selected solo exhibitions: KOBAYASHI Masato, The Miyagi Museum of Art, Sendai, Japan; A Son of Painting Masato Kobayashi, S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium; Starry Paint, Tensta Konsthall, Spanga, Sweden; The Paint of the Planet, Nariwa Museum, Okayama, Japan; ART TODAY 2012 Explanatory Paintings and Masato Kobayashi, Sezon Museum of Modern Art, Nagano, Japan; Artist and the Model, ShugoArts, Tokyo

Catching the Words with Hands (2004) by Katsura FunakoshiMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art

Katsura Funakoshi

Born in Iwate in 1951. BFA in Sculpture, Tokyo Zokei University, 1975. MFA in Sculpture, Tokyo University of the Arts, 977. Main exhibitions: Nishimura Gallery (1985-), ""The XXXX III Venice Biennale"" (1988), "Documenta IX" (1992, Germany), "Katsura Funakoshi" (2003-04, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and toured), "Katsura Funakoshi: Summer Villa" (2008, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum), "Funakoshi Katsura: ‘Exploring My Inner Fountain’” (2020, The Shoto Museum of Art). There are many public collections of his work in Japan and abroad, such as the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. He has made a great contribution to the revival of wood carving and coloring. His major awards include the 18th Hirakushi Denchu Award in 1998.

winding girl ver.3 (2020) by Koji TanadaMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art

Koji Tanada

Born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1968. Graduated in sculpture from the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts, 1995. He has worked consistently as a woodcarver, carving human figures using the traditional Japanese woodcarving technique, “ichiboku-zukuri". His works exist on the borderline between adults and children, humans and nature, and the individual and society, giving a sense of infinite expansion. Recent major exhibitions include “Rise”, Nerima Art Museum and other venues, 2012-13, and "O JUN x TANADA Koji: Semegu”, Itami City Museum of Art, 2017.

sign (2016) by Tomotaka YasuiMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art

Tomotaka Yasui

 Born in Antwerp in 1974. Graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts in 2001 with a Master's degree in sculpture. With the core theme of the coexistence of nature and human beings, he has attempted to comprehensively grasp the things and objects contained in nature and society, and create a tranquil spatial expression using light and time as the starting point for the process and actions of his sculptures. He uses traditional techniques of dry lacquer and mother-of-pearl inlay, as well as creating sculptures using both 3D digital data technology and handwork, and a project in which the relationship between a house and a town is seen as sculpture and space. He received the 34th Teijiro Nakahara Award for Excellence. His works have been collected by the Hakone Open-Air Museum, the Thalie Art Foundation, and others. His major exhibitions include "Somebody and Something" (MA2Galley, 2020) and "Takamatsu Contemporary Art Annual vol.09: Time and Imagination" (Takamatsu City Museum of Art, 2020).  

Weeds (2008) by Yoshihiro SudaMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art

Yoshihiro Suda

Born in Yamanashi in 1969. Graduated from Tama Art University in 1992 with a degree in graphic design. Currently lives in Tokyo. He has had solo exhibitions at the Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum (2018), Chiba City Museum of Art (2012), Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (2006), The National Museum of Art, Osaka (2006), The Art Institute of Chicago (2003), Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (1999), and others. His works are in the collections of major museums in Japan and abroad.

Animal 2012-01B (2012/2019) by Atsuhiko MisawaMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art

Atsuhiko Misawa

Misawa was born in Kyoto Prefecture in 1961. He got M.F.A. in Sculpture fromTokyo University of the Arts in 1989. In 2000, he started to make the seriesof wooden sculpture of animals called "Animals". From the same year, he hasbeen held his exhibitions at Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo. In 2001, he receivedthe 20th Hirakushi Denchu Prize. 2007–08, his exhibition tours held at 5museums, starting with the Hiratsuka Museum of Art, Kanagawa. Since then,many solo exhibitions have been held at museums throughout Japan. In recentyears, his exhibitions have held at the Shoto Museum of Art, Tokyo in 2017,Yokosuka Museum of Art, Kanagawa and Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art &Design in 2018. In 2019, he received the 41st Nakahara Teijiro Prize. He iscurrently a professor of Musashino Art University and lives in Kanagawa.

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Meiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art
Centennial Celebration of The Establishment of Meiji Jingu

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