KAZAN - A Superb Imagination at Work

KazanA Superb Imagination at Works

Gion Festival Handscrolls

Kazan - A Superb Imagination at Work

Prologue

The late Edo period painter Yokoyama Kazan (1781/4–1837) was active in Kyoto. Kazan remained unaffiliated and unswayed by painting world trends throughout his career, choosing instead to create his own free painting style and brushwork methods drawn from various traditions and styles. This approach won favor with the audiences of the day.
The Yokoyama family interacted with Soga Shōhaku. Kazan’s early opportunities to directly experience Shōhaku’s works led to his own personal study of Shōhaku’s paintings.
more After studying under Ganku, he broadened his experience by studying the works of Goshun and adopting painting methods from various schools. These diverse experiences allowed him to freely choose brushwork styles that suited each occasion’s painting theme. Arranging even the most traditional of subjects in boldly new compositions, his brushwork’s modern, at times Western style could even be mistaken for Meiji or later works. Kazan reached his pinnacle achievement in his genre scenes and images of festivals, particularly thanks to their eyecatchingly accurate and detailed depiction of their subjects.
Kazan’s works greatly influenced other Edo period painters and he was known throughout Japan during his lifetime. After his death his son Yokoyama Kakei and his students Nakajima Kayō and Ozawa Kagaku carried on his painting style, establishing an independent position as the Yokoyama school within the Kyoto painting world. Kazan’s name appears in comparative listings of painters and in the novels of Natsume Sōseki, indicating how well known he was in the Meiji to Taishō periods. His talents were early recognized by researchers and collectors overseas, with many of his works today found in museums in America and Europe.
This exhibition is the first full retrospective of Kazan’s works, presenting examples from his earliest period to his final years and examining the diversity of his oeuvre in painting genre groupings. This display will spotlight all aspects of Kazan’s fascinating world, which despite his earlier fame is less known today. Along with its concurrent presentation of works by Soga Shōhaku and Kazan’s own students, the exhibition will also feature works from overseas collections, many making their debut appearance in a Japanese exhibition.

Hanshan (Kanzan) and Shide (Jittoku) Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection
Hanshan (Kanzan) and Shide (Jittoku)Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.William Sturgis Bigelow CollectionPhotograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Exhibition

Section 1Learning from Shōhaku—Kazan’s Starting Point

The Yokoyama family interacted with Soga Shōhaku and Kazan’s early opportunities for direct encounters with Shōhaku works led to his personal study of the painter. The day-to-day nature of this “experiencing Shōhaku process” became a splendid opportunity for Kazan to study Shōhaku’s free and novel painting style, which would become the core of his own later oeuvre. This prologue section of the exhibition introduces Kazan’s early period works and some Shōhaku-works that formed his starting point.
This section displays Shōhaku’s The Daoist Immortal Liu Haichan (Xia Ma, Gama) alongside Kazan’s The Daoist Immortal Liu Haichan (Xia Ma, Gama), which was his copy of Shōhaku’s work with some additions and changes. Please enjoy this chance to see the two painters in tandem.

Screens of Four Seasons Landscapes after Shōhaku
Screens of Four Seasons Landscapes after Shōhaku
Screens of Four Seasons Landscapes after Shōhaku

Section 2People Humorously Depicted

Kazan was particularly adept at depicting people, and many of his images of people remain extant. Some take up the subjects of ancient Chinese tales and myths, while others are adroit renderings of the everyday lives of the people of his own time.
Chinese Children is one masterly example of Kazan’s painting prowess. He revealed his great interest in Western-style painting by highlighting the children’s faces with Western-style shading. Kazan often painted images of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune or the Chinese Immortals, all with the aim of evoking a smile from his viewers. Here is a chance to examine all the myriad, witty ways that Kazan depicted people.

Chinese Children
Chinese Children
Chinese Children

Section 3Birds and Flowers—A Marvelous Animal Land

This group of adroitly rendered bird, flower, plant and animal paintings displays Kazan’s great talents. Kazan was a student of Ganku, renowned for his tiger paintings, and Kazan himself often depicted tigers.
Monkeys with almost human-like expressions, intricately detailed pictures of birds that feel as if they were alive today, each of these pictures fire up their viewers’ imagination and wonder.

Crows in the Snow
Crows in the Snow
Crows in the Snow

Section 4Landscapes—Journey with Kazan to Famous Places

Many of Kazan’s landscape paintings are masterworks or large in scale, depicting not only renowned Japanese sites and scenes, but also many Chinese scenic places. His particularly impressive, richly realistic depictions of Mt. Fuji and Amanohashidate were based on personal visits to those oft-visited sites.
Kazan’s Overlooking Kyoto is a work that helped shoot Kazan to fame. This surimono print of a bird’s-eye view of the entire Kyoto townscape greatly influenced the Edo painters of the day, as noted by the intellectual Saitō Gesshin in his Bukō nenpyō chronicle of contemporary events and trends.

Waterfall
 Waterfall
Waterfall

Section 5 Genre Scenes—Shared Human Emotions

Genre scenes stand as Kazan’s pinnacle achievement. Depicting traditional painting themes from a unique vantage point and breathing new life into their expression, his detailed depictions of nearby places, culture and rituals displayed his sympathy for those around him.
Kazan is unrivaled in pictures of the Gion Festival. Numerous large works on other festival themes, such as the Yasurai Festival and the Kamo Shrine Horse Races, also remain extant today.
Kazan’s talented followers, such as Ozawa Kagaku and Kawabe Kakyo, also took up the festival painting theme. Here is a great chance to view the densely packed, bustling realm of festivals as depicted by Kazan the master of such imagery and his students.

Night Parade of the One Hundred Demons
Night Parade of the One Hundred Demons
Night Parade of the One Hundred Demons

Section 6Pictures of the Gion Festival—The Gion Festival Handscrolls

The Gion Festival Handscrolls—about 30 meters of pictures stretching across two scrolls that form a massive experiment in capturing the entirety of the Gion Festival—are a splendid compendium of Kazan’s achievements. While many paintings depict the festival cart parade that is the highlight of the Gion Festival, this is the only work that presents an accurate and detailed depiction of the other aspects of the festival, down to images of the individual participants and audience members.
A newly discovered preparatory drawing for the Gion Festival Handscrolls is displayed alongside the handscrolls themselves, allowing an in-depth understanding of the scrupulous care Kazan took in observing and collecting material for the creation of his painting masterpiece.

Gion Festival Handscrolls
Gion Festival Handscrolls
Gion Festival Handscrolls

Outline

Tokyo Station Gallery
September 22, 2018 - November 11, 2018
[Closed]
Mondays (except September 24, October 8 and November 5) as well as Tuesday, September 25 and Tuesday, October 9.
[Opening Hours]
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.*Fridays: Until 8:00 p.m.
*Last admission 30 minutes before closing time
[Organized by]
Tokyo Station Gallery (East Japan Railway Culture Foundation), Nikkei Inc.
[With assistance from]
JAPAN AIRLINES
[Co-sponsored by]
Nozaki Insatsu Shigyo Co., Ltd.
[Access Map]
The Miyagi Museum of Art
April 20, 2019 - June 23, 2019
[Closed]
Mondays
[Opening Hours]
9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.*Last admission 30 minutes before closing time
[Organized by]
The Miyagi Museum of Art, KAHOKU SHIMPO PUBLISHING CO., Sendai Television Incorporated, Nikkei Inc.
[With assistance from]
JAPAN AIRLINES
[Co-sponsored by]
Nozaki Insatsu Shigyo Co., Ltd.
[Access Map]
The Museum of Kyoto
July 2, 2019 - August 17, 2019
[Closed]
Mondays (except July 15, August 12)
[Opening Hours]
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.*Last admission 30 minutes before closing time
[Organized by]
Kyoto Prefecture., The Museum of Kyoto, Nikkei Inc., The Kyoto Shimbun Co.,Ltd.
[With assistance from]
JAPAN AIRLINES
[Co-sponsored by]
Nozaki Insatsu Shigyo Co., Ltd.
[Access Map]

Ticket

  ADVANCE DOORS group rates(20 people or more)
Adults 900yen 1,100yen 800yen
high school and university students 700yen 900yen 600yen
Junior high school students and younger free free -
*Persons with a disability certificate or similar receive a 100 yen discount on tickets purchased at the door, and one accompanying helper is admitted free.
[Ticket Sales]
Tokyo Station Gallery (Up until 30 minutes before the gallery closes)
Lawson Ticket (L-Code 33196), E Plus, CN Playguide and Seven Ticket
*Advance tickets are on sale from July 14 to September 21, 2018
*Advance tickets are on sale at the Tokyo Station Gallery reception desk until September 9, on days when the gallery is open.
[Discount for Repeat Visitors]
Present your stub of an at-the-door ticket or advance-purchase ticket to this exhibition at reception and you can enter again for the group rate. Reception staff will keep your stub. Please note that this discount cannot be used with other discounts.
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