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MONO Project

Statement

Like great Japanese Art works of the past, I think that the supreme pictoral art puts an interpretation into the hand of viewers to inflame their imagination and to make them have various stories and answers. But I don’t want to represent an explicit story to be influenced by abstract lyricism. So I want to do thoroughly a basis of pictorial art : depict thoroughly to approach the essence of impression beyond depiction, and to represent the reality including a motif, myself standing face to face with it, the accumulated tradition, and reverie.
Toshihiko Maemoto


His elegant and sharp line drawings, masterfully created through the delicate use of the light and shade of sumi, a mineral pigment notoriously difficult to manipulate, exposes Maemoto’s deep knowledge of Eastern painting from the Sung and Yuan eras to the modern period. Toshihiko Maemoto is the uncomparable successor to the traditional Japanese painters.

Maemoto moved to Tokyo from his native Hokkaido in 1968 to enter the Japanese Painting Program at Tama Art University.   Here he was taught by the leading painters in post-war Japan, including Misao Yokoyama, Matazo Kayama, Fumiko Hori and Yasao Ueno. The exposure to these great masters built a solid foundation of learning for the artist.

After graduating from the master course at Tama Art University in 1974, Maemoto started to show his works in the exhibitions of the fine art associations, Soga-kai and Kanagawa Prefecture Artists Association. In 1981, he was selected for the Yamatane Museum Japanese Painting Grand Prix Exhibition, and he received the Award of Excellence for the Tokyo Central Museum’s Japanese painting Grand Prix Exhibition in 1984 as well as for the Tokyo Central Museum Nude Art Grand Prix Exhibition in 1985. These awards solidified him as his generation‘s next great artist.

Deepening his knowledge of Eastern painting while studying in China in 1987, Maemoto began participating in international exhibitions including, Art Basel, Switzerland, Beijing International Indian Ink Painting Exhibition in 1988, and the Exhibition of Folding Screens, touring throughout Germany and Australia in 1990.

In 1999, he painted the ceiling of Zojoji, the head temple of Jodoshu, an important Japanese Buddhist sect, and in 2000, decorated the partitions of the Koyasan Rengein Temple, a part of Kongobuji Temple, the most sacred place for Japanese Esoteric Buddhism. Since 1955, he has had four solo exhibitions in Narukawa Museum, a venue containing an unmatched collection of post-war Japanese painting.

It is a complicated history, Maemoto experienced throughout his career, assimilating the influence from the works of his master Kayama Matazo and the other great predecessors into the modern style. 40 years after initial encounter with Japanese painting, Maemoto Toshihiko is opening fresh ground by harmonizing extremely refined techniques, the beauty of traditional style, and his nature as a lyrical poet in pictorial representation.

Works by Maemoto are in many museum collections including: the Narukawa Art Museum, The Museum of Art, Ehime; Saku Municipal Museum of Modern Art, Sato Sakura Museum, and in a part of Temple, including Zojoji Temple, Sokuseiji Temple, Koyasan Rengein Temple.

Biography

1948 Born in Hokkaido, Japan
1972 Graduated from Tama Art University ,Tokyo, in Japanese Painting
1974 Master of Fine Art Department Japanese Painting Tama Art University
1987 Studied in China for six months

Selected Solo Exhibition

1972 Nihonbashi Yanagi-Ya Gallery, Tokyo
1979 Murakoshi Gallery, Tokyo
1982 Murakoshi Gallery, Tokyo
1984 Murakoshi Gallery, Tokyo
1986 Tokyo Central Museum
1986 Seibu Ikebukuro Main Store, Tokyo
1989 Exhibition of Humans Tableaux, Shinseido, Tokyo
1990 Honeymoon, Murakoshi Gallery, Tokyo
1991 Canon, Motif of Bisque Dolls, Shinseido, Tokyo
1993 LA MODA, Depict Luciano Soprani, Onward Gallery, Tokyo
1995 Holy Landscape, Narukawa Art Museum , Hakone
1996 Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi, Tokyo
2001 Chigusa - Mogusa-thousand and hundred kinds of grass, Narukawa Art Museum, Hakone
2003 Hatsuharu – The Beginning of Spring, Matsuya Ginza, Tokyo
2004 Flowers Morning, Narukawa Art Museum, Hakone
Ginza Matsuzakaya, Tokyo
2007 Daily Thought About Tableaux, Ikebukuro Tobu, Tokyo
2012 In The Motif of Flowers, Narukawa Art Museum, Hakone

Selected Group Exhibition

1971 Selected for the Exhibition of Shin Seisaku Art Society
1975 Selected for the Exhibition of Soga-kai (since then every year till 1983)
1976 Selected for the Exhibition of Kanagawa Prefecture Artists Association(since then every year till 1982)
1978 Tokyo Central Museum Japanese Painting Grand Prix Exhibition
1981 Selected for Yamatane Museum Japanese Painting Grand Prix Exhibition
Invitation of entry in Tokyo Central Museum Japanese Painting Grand Prix Exhibition
Exhibition of Pere David’s Deer, Kinokuni-ya Gallery
Exhibition for small pieces, Chuo Gallery, Tokyo
1984 Invitation of entry in Tokyo Central Museum Japanese Painting Grand Prix Exhibition
Exhibition of Pere David’s Deer, Kinokuni-ya Gallery
1985 Invitation of entry in Tokyo Central Museum Nude Art Grand Prix Exhibition
1986 Exhibition of Pere David’s Deer, Shiseido Gallery
1987 New Generation’s Painting 1987, Ueno Matsuzakaya, Tokyo
Art Basel, Switzerland
1988 Exhibition of Pere David’s Deer, Kakei Gallery, Tokyo
Exhibition of Pere David’s Deer for small pieces, Gallery Miyasaka
Beijing International Indian Ink Painting Exhibition
1989 New Generation’s Painting 1989, Ueno Matsuzakaya, Tokyo
Art Basel, Switzerland
1990 New Artist Wave I, Tokyo Art Young Man Association
Two person Exhibition with Ogasawara Hajime, Gallery Miyasaka, Tokyo
Exhibition of Paintings on Folding Screens in Düsseldorf
Australia Japan Conception through Art Now, Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Manly Australia
1991 New Artist Wave II, Tokyo Art Young Man Association
Ryoyo-no-Me Modern Painting Exhibition, Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi, Tokyo
Exhibition of Modern Paintings on Folding Screens, Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art, etc.
New York Art Expo
Modern Japanese Painting Exhibition, National Palace Museum, Beijing
Exhibition of Japanese New Generation’s Painting 1994, Ueno Matsuzakaya, Tokyo
1992 New Artist Wave III, Tokyo Art Young Man Association
Exhibition of Standard-bearer of Japanese Painting in 21century, Manly Museum, Australia, Ueno Matsuzakaya,Tokyo
Four Person Exhibition, Narukawa Art Museum, Hakone
1994 Exhibition of Japanese New Generation’s Painting 1994, Ueno Matsuzakaya, Tokyo
1995 Three Person Exhibition with Murokoshi Takemi and Morita Rieko, Onward Gallery, Tokyo
1996 Fushikai Exhibition, Nakagen Art, Tokyo
1997 Fushikai Exhibition, Nakagen Art, Tokyo
1998 Fushikai Exhibition, Nakagen Art, Tokyo
1999 Painted on the ceiling of Zojoji Temple
Design of UNICEF Card
Fushikai Exhibition, Nakagen Art, Tokyo
2000 Painted pictures on partitions of Koyasan Rengein Temple
Fushikai Exhibition, Nakagen Art, Tokyo
2001 Fushikai Exhibition, Nakagen Art, Tokyo
2002 Painted on the ceiling of Ome Sokuseiji Temple
Fushikai Exhibition, Nakagen Art, Tokyo
2003 Two person Exhibition with his wife Maemoto Yu, Nakagen Art, Tokyo
Fushikai Exhibition, Nakagen Art, Tokyo
2005 Ryoyo-no-Me Modern Painting Exhibition, Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi, Tokyo
2006 Three Person Exhibition with Murokoshi Takemi and Morita Rieko, Onward Gallery, Tokyo
2008 Three Person Exhibition with Murokoshi Takemi and Morita Rieko, Onward Gallery, Tokyo
2010 Three Person Exhibition with Murokoshi Takemi and Morita Rieko, Onward Gallery, Tokyo

Award

1978 Prize of the Scholarship Association of Art - The Exhibition of Kanagawa Prefecture Artists Association
1980 Grand Prix—The Exhibition of Kanagawa Prefecture Artists Association
1984 Award of excellence—Tokyo Central Museum Japanese Painting Grand Prix Exhibition
1985 Award of excellence—Tokyo Central Museum Nude Art Grand Prix Exhibition

Public Collection

Narukawa Art Museum
The Museum of Art, Ehime
Saku Municipal Museum of Modern Art
Sato Sakura Museum
Zojoji Temple, Tokyo
Sokuseiji Temple, Tokyo
Koyasan Rengein Temple, Wakayama


Notes

Shin Seisaku Art Society and Soga-kai
Shin-Seisaku(new creation) Art Society was founded in 1936, by young painters, Inokuma Genichiro, Koiso Ryohei, Wakita Kazu etc. opposing the refome of the exhibition sponsored by the government because of the intention to control artists for the wartime regime. This group was so sophiscated, and had free atmosphere. After WW2, Uemura Shoko,Okumura Koichi, Yamamoto Kyujin and the other Japanese Painter founded the group called Sozo-Bijutsu(create the art), and combined Shin Seisaku in 1951. Japanese painters in this group weren't tradition-bound, created innovative works, and led Japanese painting of Post War.In 1974, Japanese Painters left Shin-Seisaku, and founded SoGa-Kai(create tableaux association)
Yamatane Museum Japanese Painting Grand Prix
The most popular Prize for young Japanese Painter, continued 1971-1997 in alternate years. Not only prize winner but also winning candidates could get honor and a chance to rise in fame as Yasui Award in western style painting.
Narukawa Art Museum
Independent art museum specialized in contemporary Japanese painting, founded in 1988. Famous for the solid collection and distinctive management.
painting on the ceiling and partitions of temple in Japan
It is honor for Japanese painters to be request of painting on the ceiling and partitions by temples.