At first sight, these works look humorous and seem to have been created with great ease. But in tracing back
>> Kunagai Morikazu' s * 1880 Tsukechi † 1977 Tokyo
over 70-year career, it becomes clear that he actually experimented with many different approaches, making paintings to see how things could be seen in the dark and developing a process to use the same design in multiple works. The reason Kumagai’s flowers and birds have such a lifelike appearance is due to the artist’s ingenuous means of dealing with color and form. Concealed within his works are an observational ability akin to that of a scientist and an elaborate production method.
This retrospective (01.12.2017 - 21.03.2018), the first to be held in Tokyo in many years, sheds light on the artist’s creative process with more than 200 paintings, sketches, diaries, and documents.
During his long 97-year life, which began in the Meiji Period and continued late into the Showa Period, Kumagai experienced a variety of hardships including poverty and deaths in the family. Yet he single-mindedly devoted himself to his work and, even at the age of 95, said, “I hope to live forever.” Don’t miss your chance to visit Kumagai Morikazu’s remarkable world of art this winter. (Text: National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo)