Shaun Tan, The Arrival (Kawade Shobo Shinsha), 2011 (Japanese version)

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The World of Shaun Tan: Welcome to Nowhere

In 1999, Australian artist and film maker Shaun Tan (1974– ) published The Lost Thing, his first picture book, and adapted the story into an Academy Award-winning animated short film in 2010. Tan’s wordless monochrome graphic novel Arrival was published in multiple countries and has garnered many ardent adult fans in Japan for its distinctive worldview and expressive style. Supported by the artist’s full cooperation, this large-scale exhibition will be the first to feature Tan’s work in Japan.

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Chihiro Iwasaki. Boy and a Nest of Japanese Buntings, 1971

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Japanese Children’s Literature Illustrated by Chihiro

In this exhibit, we focus on Japanese children’s literature that Chihiro illustrated, examining an aspect of Chihiro’s work that differs from her picture books while also shedding new light on the history of postwar Japanese children’s literature. Highlighting the period that Chihiro was most active in her career, we present works based on Japan’s unique prewar sentiments and social issues, works based on the memories of war that were rapidly fading at the time, and works depicting the loss of hometown nature.

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Chihiro Iwasaki. Boy with Red Hat, 1972

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Chihiro’s Children: Shuntaro Tanikawa × Torafu Architects

Shuntaro Tanikawa’s poems and Chihiro’s illustrations—despite the differences in character between these two artists, their distinctive expressive styles, polished through long careers, coupled with their insight into the hearts of children, resonate in celebration of what it means to be a child. This exhibit, based on the theme of children, represents a collaboration between Chihiro and Tanikawa along with a special hands-on space for children created by Torafu Architects.

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Ishiuchi Miyako, Mother’s #3, 2000 ©Ishiuchi Miyako. Chihiro Iwasaki, Self-Portrait (circa age 30), late 1940s

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Tale of Two Women: Miyako and Chihiro

Photographer Miyako Ishiuchi began using her mother’s former name as her professional name at the age of 28, when she embarked on her photographic career. Upon learning about Chihiro Iwasaki’s life[…]

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Chihiro Iwasaki. Girl and Roses, 1969

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Chihiro Art Museum × Bunka Fashion College Collaboration: Chihiro’s Kids’ Fashion

Chihiro’s illustrations feature children wearing clothing that is colorful, modern, and comfortable. These works provide us with a glimpse into Chihiro’s sense of design and fashion sense. In this exhibit we focus on the stylish children that appear in Chihiro’s artwork. Additionally, in collaboration with Bunka Fashion College, we will exhibit designs and related materials created in class by students specializing in accessories based on the theme of “children’s clothing that expands on the impression of Chihiro’s artwork.”

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Errol Le Cain (U.K.). From Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, 1981

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Chihiro Art Museum Collection: Enjoying Picture Book Fashions

Setting our sights on fashion, we take a look at the refined children’s fashion depicted in artwork from the Chihiro Art Museum Collection, including national costumes and the cultures and climates of the lands they represent, and the outfits that symbolize the characters appearing in the stories. In this exhibit we will introduce a rich array of attire from picture book stories spanning various eras and regions.

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ChihiroIwasaki , The Girl Sitting in a Box , 1969

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Exhibition Series:Life ― The 100th Anniversary of Chihiro Iwasaki’s Birth

To Create , To Bring up as a Mother and Artist   Yurie Nagashima

Yurie Nagashima used insight obtained from family memories and relationships to create artwork that highlights mothers and children, the creativity of women hidden in society’s shadows, and the skills that women possess. At times, her work reflects the physical sensations of children whose five senses have yet to differentiate themselves. As a mother and an artist, her artwork resonates with that of Chihiro Iwasaki, who, as a mother and artist, long cherished the memories and sensations of her peaceful childhood. To Create , To Bring up as a Mother and Artist / Yurie Nagashima » Detail Exhibition Series: Life In 2018, Chihiro Art Museum (Tokyo, Azumino), in commemoration of the […]

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Children Peeping through Hedge

Chihiro Iwasaki , Children Peeping through Hedge from The Child Who Moved Next door (Shikosha), 1970

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Exhibition Series:Life—The 100th Anniversary of Chihiro Iwasaki’s Birth

Play plaplax

plaplax employs assorted media, such as video and space, to create interactive art focusing on children’s play. For this exhibition, the group gives form to an exhibit with a focus on the keyword “play” that explores new frontiers in picture book-making while enjoying Chihiro Iwasaki’s watercolor techniques and other innovative methods. Play / plaplax » Detail Exhibition Series: Life In 2018, Chihiro Art Museum (Tokyo, Azumino), in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Chihiro Iwasaki’s birth, will explore a new type of exhibition in collaboration with artists active in various fields, all of whom are engaged in activities that focus on the theme of “life.” These artists are all producing […]

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In the Fresh Green Wind

ChihiroIwasaki , In the Fresh Green Wind , 1973

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Exhibition Series:Life—The 100th Anniversary of Chihiro Iwasaki’s Birth

Enjoying Fashion spoken words project

Chihiro Iwasaki was a fashionable woman. She enjoyed making and selecting the clothes she wanted to wear, and despite living during a period when material things were lacking, she did not neglect fashion. Her sartorial sense is reflected in her artwork, and the style and subtle colors of the clothes worn by the children portrayed in her illustrations accentuated their endearing nature. In this exhibition, based on the theme of “clothing,” we are working in collaboration with the fashion brand “spoken words project.” Building off the image of Chihiro Iwasaki’s character and expressive watercolor technique, we aim to bring to life her worldview through the creation of fabric and clothing […]

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Girl Hiding behind the Curtain

ChihiroIwasaki , Girl Hiding behind the Curtain , 1968

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Exhibition Series:Life ― The 100th Anniversary of Chihiro Iwasaki’s Birth

Where the Gaze Falls / Shinji Ohmaki

Shinji Ohmaki is known for his installations that combine a delicate sensibility and dynamic scale to vividly bring out the inherent atmosphere of the installation’s location. In this exhibition, Ohmaki makes use of the entire space of the Chihiro Art Museum Tokyo to provide visitors with the opportunity experience a journey through the world of Chihiro Iwasaki illustrations. His art infuses visitors with the “energy to live” from a never-before-seen perspective. Where the Gaze Falls / Shinji Ohmaki » Detail Exhibition Series: Life In 2018, Chihiro Art Museum (Tokyo, Azumino), in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Chihiro Iwasaki’s birth, will explore a new type of exhibition in collaboration with […]

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Chihiro Iwasaki, Girl with Rose-ornamented Hat, 1971

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<4th Exhibition in Commemoration of the Museum's 40th Anniversary>

The History of Chihiro

As an artist Chihiro never tired of creating illustrations of children throughout her career. The Chihiro Art Museum, acting in accordance with her strong wish for “peace and happiness for all the children of the world,” has carried out research from a range of perspectives, focusing on such aspects as the characteristics of Chihiro’s distinctive illustration style and her way of life. In this exhibition, which includes the latest research findings, we aim to shed new light on Chihiro Iwasaki’s life and career.

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Kiichi Okamoto, Sanrinsha (The tricycle), 1926

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<4th Exhibition in Commemoration of the Museum's 40th Anniversary>

The 100-Year History of Japanese Picture Books

In the 1910s, several Japanese magazines for children, such as as Kodomo no Tomo (The Children’s Companion) and Akai Tori (Red Bird), were launched one after the other. Against the backdrop of the prosperity that arrived to Japan after World War I, a period known as the Taisho Democracy, highly artistic illustrated magazines and picture books emerged from the movement at the time promoting fairy tales, nursery songs and pictures for children. Following World War II, picture books enjoyed a resurgence thanks to the contributions of Chihiro Iwasaki and other unique artists. In this exhibition we will follow the progression of the uniquely rich expressiveness of Japanese picture books over the past 100 years.

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Chihiro Iwasaki, Girl with a Yellow Umbrella, 1969

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<3rd Exhibition in Commemoration of the Museum's 40th Anniversary>

The Poetry of Chihiro: Pictures Like Poems

Chihiro, who said she liked fairy tales that were “short, beautiful, and called to mind a range of images, like poetry does,” carved out her own unique method of picture book expression through a series of picture books that were called “feeling picture books,” such as Kotori no Kuruhi (The Pretty Bird). Starting from a young age, she liked Manyoshu (the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry) and the poems of Kenji Miyazawa and, through this exhibition, we will explore the sensibilities behind the overflowing poetic charm that infuses Chihiro’s illustrations.

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Yosuke Inoue, from Densha ehon (Billiken-shokai) 2000

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Yosuke Inoue’s Oddball, Delightful, Suspicious and Agreeable Picture Books

Yosuke Inoue was active across a variety of artistic genres, including picture books, cartoons and illustrations. In this exhibition we will feature a range of his artwork, including tableaux and cartoons, with a focus on the picture book creation process. On display will be selections from Inoue’s first picture book, Odango pan, along with the beloved Kuma no ko Ūfu and illustrations from original picture books he produced starting in the 1970s. We hope that you will enjoy the unique world of Inoue’s art, which fuses nonsense and humor with his unnerving depictive style.

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Chihiro Iwasaki, Girl with a Hat, 1970

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<2nd Exhibition in Commemoration of the Museum's 40th Anniversary>

Welcome to the Inside of a Chihiro Illustration! A Chihiro Exhibition by Isao Takahata

Film director and screenwriter Isao Takahata, well versed in art and literature spanning all ages and cultures, has been active at the forefront of animation creation. He described Chihiro as “a rare artist who captures the dignity of children” and acknowledged deriving creative inspiration from her work. Through Takahata’s keen eye for beauty, this exhibition will allow guests to rediscover the appeal of Chihiro’s artwork, providing a means of experiencing the world of Chihiro’s illustrations in an all-new light.

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Takeshi Motai, from The Picture Book of Dreams, 1948

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<2nd Exhibition in Commemoration of the Museum's 40th Anniversary>

Takeshi Motai the Dream Traveler, by Yoshitomo Nara

“Residing in day-to-day life, Takeshi Motai’s aesthetic sense is paradoxically sublime. His artwork makes no distinctions between East and West; it is pure spirit.” So says Yoshitomo Nara, the artist behind this exhibition. We hope that you will enjoy viewing the works that transcended time and touched Nara’s heart, including The Debris of Paris, Motai’s sketchbook from his journeys in Paris, and his illustrated tale The Picture Book of Dreams.

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Chihiro Iwasaki, The Little Girl Lighting a Match, from The Little Match Girl, 1964 (Kaisei-sha)

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<1st Exhibition in Commemoration of the Museum's 40th Anniversary>

My Andersen” by Chihiro and International Picture Book Illustrators

Chihiro Iwasaki, The Little Girl Lighting a Match, from The Little Match Girl, 1964 (Kaisei-sha) Hans Christian Andersen, known as the father of the creative fairy tale, deftly weaved the dreams and truths of the world into beautiful children’s stories. His tales have been read and loved by readers of all ages the world over and provided inspiration for countless artists, including Chihiro, who earned acclaim as one of Japan’s foremost illustrators of Andersen’s stories. In this exhibition we will present around 90 pieces of Chihiro’s work along with illustrations by other artists from around the world.

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Ib Spang Olsen, from The Fairy Tales of Andersen, 1992 (Fukuinkan Shoten Publishers)© Ib Spang Olsen by Medialynx Japan

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<1st Exhibition in Commemoration of the Museum's 40th Anniversary>

Ib Spang Olsen: The Soul of Denmark

Ib Spang Olsen, from The Fairy Tales of Andersen, 1992 (Fukuinkan Shoten Publishers) © Ib Spang Olsen by Medialynx Japan Ib Spang Olsen was a Danish illustrator and was recognized with the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award for illustration. In this exhibition we will show around 150 original pieces that were featured in a retrospective exhibit of Olsen’s work held last year in Copenhagen, including original artwork from such picture books as The Boy in the Moon and The Fairy Tales of Andersen, as well as posters and animated works.

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Chihiro Iwasaki, Girl and Bindweeds, in the mid 1950s

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The 100th anniversary of birth , I am Chihiro Iwasaki, a painter

For details, please see the Museum “Eki” kyoto website. This exhibition will be held at Fukuoka from April 20 (Sat)~May 26 (Sun) 2019.

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Chihiro Iwasaki, Girl and Bindweeds, in the mid 1950s

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The 100th anniversary of birth , I am Chihiro Iwasaki, a painter

Children and flowers bathing in an abundance of bright light and revitalizing color…Chiro Iwasaki (1918~1974) was an artist and picture book artist who established the image of doga (pictures for children) and is still widely endeared by Japanese people. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of her birth, a retrospective exhibition will be held as a remembrance of Chihiro Iwasaki as an “artist.” A space to peer into the appeal of Chihiro’s original works will be developed. At the same time, an attempt will be made to analyze Chihiro Iwasaki’s elaborate techniques by examining the formation and exploratory periods of her sensitivity, the completion of her style and the process […]

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Chihiro Iwasaki , The Girl Wearing a Red Woolen Cap , 1972

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Exhibition Chihiro Iwasaki

Chihiro Iwasaki (1918-1974) was a female master painter and illustrator of Japan. In her youth, she began to learn sketching and oil painting. When she was eighteen, she began to learn calligraphy. The work I Can Do it All by Myself of 1956 was her first picture book. The Pretty Bird won the Graphic Prize Fiera di Bologna in 1971 while Children in the Flames of War won the bronze medal of the Leipzig International Book Fair in 1974. Chihiro passed away at the age of 55 in 1974. The year 2018 marks the centennial of Chihiro Iwasaki’s birth. To celebrate this occasion, we will present 100 pieces of her […]

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