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Collection 1

April 7(Sat.) - June 24(Sun.), 2007

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Through basically a collection of preciously unexhibited works classified by genre, a large number of these pieces, whether in terms of technique, motif or era, have been selected for their connection to the artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. In this way, we hope viewers will enjoy finding similarities between Sugimoto's photographs and these examples of contemporary art from the museum collection.

1. Modern Prints and Drawing: Wols and Others
In his prints, the German artist Wols uses a variety of expressive lines to visualize scenes from his imagination. In the next section of exhibit, we present a painting and a drawing by Luc Tuymans which share a common motif. Also on display is a poster for a Shakespeare by the representative Japanese graphic designer Kiyoshi Awazu, and an abstract sculpture by Jean Arp that recalls a model in one of Sugimoto's photographs.

2. Contemporary Painting: Focus on Asia
This section comprises four painting by three artists with a variety of artistic perspective based on human and architectural motifs. Since 1990, Luc Tuymans makes use of a unique style of expression in these tow memorable works, one of which depicts Ignatius de Loyala, the founder of the Jesuit order (to which Francis Xavier, known for transmitting Christianity to Japan, also belonged), while the other is of a Jesuit church. Also represented in this section is the English artist Julian Opie, who caused a stir when one of his painting was shown in Tokyo's Omoteanso last year. This work depicts a simple human figure, which Opie based on a photograph and created on a computer. Finally, a work by Chinese artist Luiming Ma, best known for his performance pieces, portrays a human figure which is neither man nor woman, adult nor child. It raises a wide range of social and cultural issues.

3. Contemporary Photography: The Bechers and More
By combining their black-and-white architectural photographs, which completely eliminate any sense of subjectivity, the German couple Bernd and Hilla Becher highlight common aspects. Since the 1980s, the Bechers highlight have exerted a major influence on contemporary art. Without divulging the individual characteristic of the model he photographs, Thomas Ruff, a student of the Bechers,depicts the external facts of a situation. Also, with a structure that recalls old Belgian paintings, the French artist Jean-Marc Bustamante's landscape photographs create a sense of ambiguity by blending artificial objects with nature. We also present an abstractive work by Wolfgang Tillmans, known for depicting contemporary young people through portraits, landscapes and still lifes. And finally, a representative work by Ei-Q makes use of the photogram technique that was Sugimoto also came to know as a child.

4. Conceptual Art: Duchamp and Art Since 1980
Works of art were traditionally visual creations produced by hand. But with the emergence of Marcel Duchamp in the early 20th century, this wasn't necessarily the case anymore. The objects and actions that were produced lacked meaning, and works began to place to place importance on nonvisual ideas and concepts. In the 1980s, a variety of other works that relied heavily on concepts that weren't visible to the eye were also created. The artists used a wide range of methods to generate meaning. Jac Leirnier and Simon Patterson arranged the letters of names according to fixed methods, Jan Dibbets and Mel Ziegler assembled information about buildings, and Mark Dion researched the relationship between the city of Antwerp and birds. Also on display is a work by Belgian artist Panamarenko who because he had dream of flying like a bird created birds.

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