Taikan Yokoyama, the Painter of Modern Japan 150 Years on

16.07.2018

'Gunjo Fuji', around 1917, Taikan Yokoyama, Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, displayed from 3 July to 22 July in the Kyoto exhibition.

The current retrospective at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto is celebrating the one hundred and fifty years anniversary of the birth of the prolific painter Taikan Yokoyama, one of the key figures of modern Japanese art, recognised during his lifetime as an artist who subverted the norm and changed opinion.

Having graduated from the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, Yokoyama began working under his mentor, the critic Tenshin Okakura at the Academy of Fine Arts with Okakura encouraging his pupils to find ways of representing a general atmosphere. Together the two contributed to the emergence of Nihonga, Japanese drawing, a movement which aided the subtle modernization of traditional painting. Working principally with ink, Yokoyama accorded a particular significance to pigmentation. Lines and forms fade away to allow a harmony of colours and a spirituality within his compositions, giving way to the subtlety of a modern Japan which was emerging.

Important Cultural Property 'Metempsychosis' (part), 1923, Taikan Yokoyama, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, presentation may be slightly different at the Kyoto exhibition.

'Yozakura', 1929, Taikan Yokoyama, Okura Museum of Art, displayed from 8 June to 1 July at the Kyoto exhibition.

'Koyo', 1931, Taikan Yokoyama, Adachi Museum of Art, displayed from 8 June to 1 July at the Kyoto exhibition.