About the Exhibition

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This exhibition looks at “smiles” in Japan's classical art, presenting works that range from archeological finds to early twentieth century painting, many of which have never been shown before.
The exhibition starts with dogu, clay figurines from thousands of years ago, and smiling clay tomb guardians, haniwa. Humorous themes are found in early depictions of Kanzan and Jittoku, and these are juxtaposed with Kishida Ryusei's “Reiko” series, which they inspired. Scrolls by 18th century painters such as Ito Jakuchu, Maruyama Okyo and Nagasawa Rosetsu are shown, as are paintings by Hakuin and sculptures by Enku and Mokujiki, who interpreted Buddhist precepts for commoners in the Edo Period.
The display cases are designed by architect Chiba Manabu.

Exhibition Sections and Selected Artists

  1. Archaic Smile — Dogu and Haniwa Figurines
  2. The Enigmatic Smile — Zen saints and genre images
    Sesson, Maruyama Okyo, Nagasawa Rosetsu, Soga Shohaku, Kainosho Tadaoto, Kishida Ryusei
  3. Tales of Laughter
    Soga Shohaku, Hanabusa Itcho, Ike Taiga, Kawanabe Kyosai
  4. Animals and Humor
    Kano Sansetsu, Tawaraya Sotatsu, Maruyama Okyo, Ito Jakuchu
  5. The Laughter of the Gods
    Ito Jakuchu, Hakuin, Enku, Mokujiki

Advisors: Kobayashi Tadashi (Gakushuin University), Yamashita Yuji (Meijigakuin University)

Schedule for change of exhibits
Monkeys and Children, which was scheduled for display from 18 April will not be exhibited.

“The Smile in Japanese Art” Exhibition Art Direction by Kakinokihara Masahiro Receives Major Design Award

The art direction of “The Smile in Japanese Art” received an ADC Prize in this year's Tokyo Art Director's Club (ADC).

ADC is a group consisting of 84 top art directors in Japan. Members of the ADC select the best advertisements and design items each year. This year, 13,379 entries were received from which “The Smile in Japanese Art” was selected for an ADC Prize for its art direction.

An exhibition of the prize-winning works is on display at Creation Gallery G8
2007 ADC exhibition
Tuesday, 3 July - Friday, 27 July
Creation G8
Details: http://rcc.recruit.co.jp/g8/index.html (Japanese only)

Ito Jakuchu
White Elephant
ink on paper
Private Collection

Tamatushima Daimyojin
49 cm
Collection: Kawai Kanjiro's House