Past Exhibition

Tsubaki-kai Exhibition 2009

Tsubaki-kai Exhibition 2009 Transe-Figrative  April 7th through june 21th,2009

Founded in 1919 by Shiseido's first president Shinzo Fukuhara, the Shiseido Gallery has operated for ninety years (closing only occasionally due to earthquakes, war, and other vicissitudes). For many decades, the Tsubaki-kai exhibitions have been among the Shiseido Gallery's most representative and cherished events.

The Tsubaki-kai is a group exhibition of artists that started in 1947 to mark the post-war reopening of the Shiseido Gallery. The name "Tsubaki" refers to the Japanese word for "camellia," the flower that has long been Shiseido's company symbol. (The suffix "-kai" means simply "gathering" or "group.") The first Tsubaki-kai membership was comprised of seventeen painters, working in both Japanese and Western styles, who had been closely affiliated with the Shiseido Gallery, among them Gyokudo Kawai, Taikan Yokoyama, Ryuzaburo Umehara, and Riichiro Kawashima. Since that time the membership has changed with time, and when the Sixth Tsubaki-kai was formed in 2007 a total of 80 artists had participated (see the appended list Participating Tsubaki-kai Artists Past & Present for details).

The Sixth Tsubaki-kai, formed in 2007, is comprised of six artists;

Yasuko Iba, Chiharu Shiota, Masanori Sukenari,
Kyotaro Hakamata, Naofumi Maruyama, and Miwa Yanagi
  • Chiharu Shiota
  • Unconscious Unease
  • 2008 woolen yarn, dress
  • Photo: Sunhi Mang
  • Naofumi Maruyama
  • appear
  • 2008 acrylic, cotton
  • Photo: Shigeo Muto

Over the three-year period from 2007 to 2009, these six have taken turns exhibiting together in combinations of four, with the lineup changing partially each year. This staggered approach has been adopted to boost the sense of creative tension within the group while also keeping its activities fresh and vital.

The Sixth Tsubaki-kai is also attempting to bring new levels of active artistic collaboration to each exhibition. The Tsubaki-kai title has been complemented with the phrase "Trans-Figurative" to lend an overarching theme and impart a sense of conceptual coherence. This subtitle was chosen to symbolize both going beyond the Tsubaki-kai of the past and having the artists take advantage of their mutual interaction to go beyond their normal spheres of activity and inspiration.

The four exhibitors in 2009 will include Yasuko Iba, Chiharu Shiota, Masanori Sukenari, and Naofumi Maruyama.
Yasuko Iba paints oil paintings of everyday objects like cushions and bowls, rendered with the neutral perspective of photography in a way that conveys both touchable reality and a distinctly atmospheric sensitivity.
Chiharu Shiota's work includes performance and installation works imbued with the artist's sense of internal uneasiness, impatience, and irritation.
Masanori Sukenari combines disparate materials like balloons and metal in works that draw attention to the existence of architectural creations as spatial relationships.
Naofumi Maruyama uses a staining technique to paint with acrylics in pastel-like shades and simplified forms reminiscent of ink painting.

"Tsubaki-kai Exhibition 2009" will present new works by each of these four artists, who have used their interaction to take a direct new look at the "Trans-Figurative" concept, weaving together their aesthetic inspirations more actively than ever to achieve a rich resonance of artistic expression.

Also, next year all six of the Sixth Tsubaki-kai artists will participate in "Tsubaki-kai Exhibition 2010," a special exhibition that will bring all of their efforts together in what is sure to be a "grand finale" for this talented group.

Evolution of the Tsubaki-kai

  • Masanori Sukenari
  • Affectone
  • 2007 plaster
  • Photo: Shankar Natarjan
  • Yasuko Iba
  • Untitled
  • 2009 oil, cotton
  • Photo: Shigefumi Kato
  • The Museum of Modern Art,
  • Hayama & Kamakura

Exhibition Details for Tsubaki-kai Exhibition 2009 ―Trans-Figurative―

Dates: April 7th (Tue) - June 21st (Sun), 2009
Location: Shiseido Gallery
Ginza Shiseido Building, B1
8-8-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Tel: 03-3572-3901 Fax: 03-3572-3951
Hours: Weekdays 11:00 - 19:00
Sunday & Holidays 11:00 - 18:00
Closed Mondays
Admission: Free

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