Chihiro Iwasaki, Boy and a Goat, 1969

Chihiro Iwasaki, Boy and a Goat, 1969

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Chihiro: Color without Color

Chihiro once said, “If I think it’s red, I paint it red. If I think it’s purple, I use purple. I’ll sometimes make the sky yellow and color water pink.” She would paint and draw freely, using colors that she sensed in her heart were appropriate as opposed to those she saw. In this exhibition we introduce the appeal of Chihiro’s artistic expression with a focus on her use of color, such as purple, which was one of her favorites, and black, which was a source of infinite colors.

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Shaun Tan, from The Arrival, 2004 – 2006

Shaun Tan, from The Arrival, 2004 – 2006

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The World of Shaun Tan: Welcome to Nowhere

Australian artist Shaun Tan (born 1974), known for his wordless monochrome graphic novel The Arrival, has fascinated people around the world with his unique worldview and expressiveness. This large-scale exhibition, the first to feature Tan’s work in Japan, highlights the appeal of his creative mind, showcasing about 120 examples of his work, including originals of such picture books as The Lost Thing and The Rules of Summer, as well as three-dimensional works and videos. Also on display will be a recreation of his studio, providing visitors a glimpse into the secrets of Tan’s creations, which lead to the mysterious and nostalgic nowhere lands he invents.

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Chihiro Art Museum Collection: Mysterious Creatures

The Chihiro Art Museum Collection includes numerous works depicting mysterious creatures. Artists, tapping into their imagination and through trial and error, create such beings that do not exist in the real world. Many surprises can be found in the appearance of these creatures in such aspects as their design, color, beauty and oddness. In this exhibit we present works of mysterious creatures that make appearances in picture books.

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Chihiro Iwasaki, Girl and Bird in Grass, 1971

Chihiro Iwasaki, Girl and Bird in Grass, 1971

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Chihiro: Looking at Life

Chihiro Iwasaki was an artist who, throughout her life, never tired of creating illustrations of children. When she started working on children’s books, Japan was in the midst of high economic growth and the environment children found themselves in was changing rapidly. As people sought material abundance and a growing number of Japanese households shifted from three generations to two generations living together, she focused her attention on lively children in everyday life to convey their preciousness through her work. Chihiro’s wish for “peace and happiness for all the children of the world” sounds as earnest today as when she first expressed this aspiration. In this exhibit we revisit the […]

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Seizo Tashima, from Fukimanbuku (The Butterbur Sprout) Kaisei-sha, 1973

Seizo Tashima, from Fukimanbuku (The Butterbur Sprout) Kaisei-sha, 1973

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Seizo Tashima Exhibit: Fukinambuku (The Butterbur Sprout)—And from Now on

Seizo Tashima described his picture book Fukimanbuku (The Butterbur Sprout) as “a story of the soil as the source of life” and in this exhibition we showcase all of the original illustrations featured in this work. The story takes place in Hinode-Mura (now Hinode-Cho) in western Tokyo, where Tashima lived from 1969 to 1998. The area’s locals called butterbur sprouts “fukimanbuku,” which is what gave Tashima the idea for this picture book. In this exhibition we will present sketches the artist created for the book and introduce background information from the period, focusing on the power this work continues to wield nearly a half-century after its publication. Furthermore, the exhibit […]

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Evgenii Rachev, from The Mitten, 1950

Evgenii Rachev, from The Mitten, 1950

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Chihiro Art Museum Collection: Picture Books of Mice and Hedgehogs

What is your impression of mice? They can be found the world over and have lived in the vicinity of humans since ancient times. Though scorned by many for stealing food and chewing on valuable property, they are adored by others as cute and friendly pets. Based on this relationship with humans, mice assume various forms in stories, from villains to messengers of the gods. In this exhibit we focus on mice, which represent the zodiac sign for the year 2020, along with hedgehogs, exploring how artists depict them in picture books.

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