北京・清華大学芸術博物館The Tsinghua University Art Museum in Beijing, China

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会期Exhibition dates
2018年9月1日(土)~9月23日(日)|September 1 (Sat.)- September 23 (Sun), 2018
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日中交流促進実行委員会|Japan-China Exchange Promotion Committee
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吉井画廊|Yoshii Gallery
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北京・清華大学芸術博物館|The Tsinghua University Art Museum in Beijing, China
北京市海淀区清華大学内|NO. 1, Tsinghua University Campus, Hai Dian District, Beijing
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日中平和友好条約締結40周年記念・清華大学藝術博物館 絹谷幸二展作品解説Koji Kinutani Exhibition Tsinghua University Art Museum Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China.

南城 守(絹谷幸二天空美術館 顧問・キュレーター)
Nanjo Mamoru(Advisor/Curator, Koji Kinutani Tenku Art Museum)


Chapter I: "Development - Maturation" 1960-1970
Koji Kinutani was born in the ancient capital of Japan, Nara. Being a highly historical and religious city, Kinutani was surrounded by an artistically rich environment since childhood. As he grew older, he naturally aspired to become a painter. He built his foundations as an artist at the Oil Painting department at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts.
Kinutani's oil paintings during his university years were distinctively monochromatic and chaotic in structure. Shortly later, he encountered with classical fresco paintings. With the recommendation by his teacher, Bruno Saetti, Kinutani entered the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice to master the classical fresco technique.
Kinutani's time in Italy transformed his painting style entirely. Through copying fresco paintings countless times as part of his training, Kinutani learnt the importance of the contour line, and achieved a lighter and a more flat expression. The signature Kinutani-style of the rhythmic "line" and vibrant colors was born. After returning to Japan, he rose to fame with his innovative fresco painting style. His unique style of overflowing the canvas with texts had a major influence on younger generation of painters who grew up in the manga and animation culture.


Chapter II: "Innovation - Birth of Three-dimensional Art" 1980-1990
During this period, Kinutani grew out of his early painting style which made full use of the classical fresco technique and was characteristic of vibrant colors and rhythmical lines. The contour line, which was one of the largest features of his early style, disappeared from his paintings. Instead, the "Pointillism expression" and his "Sand Series" were born. Eventually, Kinutani leaned towards cubism. Kinutani's art scaled up from 2D (paintings) to 3D when relief-style works and three-dimensional sculptures made of styroform were created. Many of the works which were created during this time addressed the modern chaotic social climate, and cried out for world peace.


Chapter III: "Flight - A Rich World of Image" 2000 - latest works
From the 2000's, Kinutani challenged various themes, and his artistic developments reached full maturity. Motifs that represent Japan or Asia ― such as Mt. Fuji and the rising sun, fantastic images inspired by Japanese myths and legends, dragons, Acalanantha (a fierce Buddhist deity), Wind God and Thunder God, and the Seven Gods of Good Fortune ― filled the canvas. These rich images, full of life, suggested the infinite possibilities of mankind's imagination and creativity.
The Buddhist teaching of "Mujo-kan (a view of life as something transient and empty)" and "Funihomon (dharma-gate of non-duality)" underlines the powerful art world of Kinutani. With a strong belief that "Art has a power stronger than any weapon," Kinutani continues to call for world peace and trust in humanity through his creations.

絹谷幸二略歴Koji Kinutani Biography


Koji Kinutani was born near the Kofuku-ji temple in Nara, the ancient capital of Japan. Aspiring to become a painter, he studied at the Oil Painting Department at the Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music, and graduated from the university's graduate school. In 1980, shortly after the Japan-China Peace and Friendship Treaty was concluded, Kinutani made his first trip to China and traveled from Beijing, Xi'an to Dunhuang. In 1986, he traveled to Shaolin Temple to create mural paintings on the walls of the temple. In 1993, he held special lectures on "Environmental Art" for one month at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing as part of a cultural dispatch program of the Japan Foundation. In the same year, the "Japan-China Contemporary Oil Painting Exhibition" was held at the National Art Museum of China, exhibiting works by Chinese artists and Kinutani's students from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts. In 1997, Kinutani was commissioned to design the official poster for the Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games in Nagano and individual posters for seven different sports, including his work, "Ginrei no Megami (Goddess of the Silvery Peak)." In the same year, he visited China with Dan Ikuma as a member of the Japan Cultural Exchange Association delegation.

In 2006, as head of the Japanese delegation of the 1st Expo Central China held in Changsha, Hunan Province, Kinutani led a thousand people from Japan to China. In 2008, as a Special Advisory Board of the Tourism Agency in Beijing, he held the "Symposium for Attracting Tourists" and participated as a panelist at the "Gathering for Japan, Kansai and Nara" in Shanghai. In the same year, Kinutani met with President Hu Jintao in Nara, and succeeded in conducting the cultural project to take the statue of Ganjin Wajo of Nara Todai-ji temple back to its home country, China. In 2010, he was appointed as the director of the Japan Cultural Exchange Association. In the same year, he produced an LED ceiling painting "Flying Surya and Chandra" for the Japan Industry Pavilion at the Shanghai World Exposition. In 2011, he was invited as a guest artist for the Chengdu Biennale. Since 2000, Kinutani has accompanied Toshihiro Nikai of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan on a grand mission to lead the Japanese delegation of 5000, 13000, and 25000 people to China. In 2014, Kinutani was accredited as Person of Cultural Merit. In 2015, he received the 66th NHK Broadcasting Culture Award (by the Japan Broadcasting Corporation). In the same year, he served as head of the "Japan-China Tourism Cultural Exchange Group" of 3,000 people. In 2017, the exhibition, "Koji Kinutani, A Journey of Color and Imagery" was held at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto. In the same year, he traveled to China as a member of the Ruling Party Economic delegation and met with President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China, President Li Xiaolin of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, and President Qiu Yong of Tsinghua University.

Kinutani is currently a professor emeritus of the Tokyo National University of the Arts and Music, a member of the Japan Art Academy and the Independent Society of Fine Art, and an Honorary Director of the Koji Kinutani Tenku Art Museum. As the director of the Japan-China Cultural Exchange Association, Kinutani continues his mission to promote mutual exchange between Japan and China.

展覧会への寄稿文Texts on the Exhibition

建畠 晢(多摩美術大学学長/埼玉県立近代美術館館長)「絹谷幸二の世界」(展覧会カタログ『絹谷幸二 色彩とイメージの旅』掲載)





 <ノン・ディメンティカーレ(忘れないで)>(1994年)は絹谷にしては珍しく色彩は暗く抑制され(といっても赤や青は部分的に使用されているが)、戦争による破壊や殺戮、廃墟の光景が大画面にびっしりと描き込まれている。下辺には"PIKKA DON"の文字も見られる。この画家は絵画は審美的に鑑賞されるばかりではなく、いやむしろそうであるからこそ、絵筆によってしか伝えることのできないメッセージを有していると考えているに違いない。その意味では彼の作品はいかにポップ的な現代性を帯びてはいても、宗教画な思索とも無縁ではないところに位置しているのである。


さて、昨年末、大阪の梅田に「絹谷幸二 天空美術館」がオープンした。館名通り、大阪の街を見下ろすビルの高層階に位置する美術館で、展示は近作、新作を中心としているが、私にとってもっとも興味深かったのは3Dの映像の上映であった。卓抜な技術によって、富士山や風神雷神の図などの世界に突入して行く体験が可能になり、イメージがダイナミックに連鎖するこの画家ならではの流動的な画面が大胆に拡大され、また神話的な物語性や宇宙感覚などを生かすなど、映像に絵画を取り込むという困難なだけにスリリングでもある実験に成功していた。絹谷の広範な制作の軌跡を一望できる本展に期待するとともに、新たに試みられると聞く映像も楽しみにしたい。

Akira Tatehata(President, Tama Art University / Director, The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama) , "The World of Koji Kinutani" (Published in the exhibition catalog, Koji Kinutani A Journey of Color and Imagery

Although painters usually develop their style gradually, there are some who succeed, when the time is ripe, in suddenly establishing a world of their own. Among them is Koji Kinutani, who won the prestigious Yasui Prize at a young age. With the prizewinning work Portrait of Mr. Anselmo (1973), which employs the technique of fresco strappo (removing the paint layer of a wall fresco and applying it to another support), he embarked on a long journey that continues to this day, in which he makes unique and passionately expressive use of a classical medium. The 1973 work represents a spontaneous creative leap, and at the same time it is of monumental significance as a consolidation of his technical, chromatic, and graphic explorations carried out in Italy.

The emergence of dynamic forms with a strong sense of velocity, surrounded by contour lines resembling strokes of lightning, the vivid palette with red as a base tone, the somehow mythological imagery that is both overflowing with energy and imbued with a sense of collapse and destruction. Such depiction of objects and scenes is closely connected to the metaphysical painting of Giorgio de Chirico. Kinutani's distinctive, humorous Pop sensibility is full of mystery and wonder.

These unique qualities have essentially remained in Kinutani's work until recently, although they have grown in scale over the years until they seem to encompass an entire universe. This retrospective is subtitled A Journey of Color and Imagery, perhaps reflecting the artist's recognition that he has trod a single path since ascertaining his own artistic qualities with his receipt of the Yasui Prize, although it has been an exceedingly diverse and fertile one. Incidentally, the Mr. Anselmo of the painting was a painter with whom Kinutani was close friends when he was studying abroad in Italy, and although he was gaining some recognition as an artist, he for some reason gave up painting and went to India, where he disappeared. His face in the painting is so deconstructed that it can hardly be called a portrait, and Kinutani has written that his brush may have foreseen Anselmo's fate.

Depending on one's viewpoint, the coexistence of generative and disintegrative forces in a single painting could indicate that Kinutani's work is imbued with the ambiguity of love and death, despair and salvation. Kinutani's world may fascinate us because of the artist's depth of thought, the way he peers into the shadows lurking behind the brilliant, vital scenes he depicts. NELLA SABBIA(in the Sand)(1982), for example, depicts a man and a woman lying entwined in an embrace in a coffin-like box lying amid the red desert sands. Objects resembling shells are lying around them, indicating that this may be battlefield. Hiragana are written on the inside of the box, and the kanji mu (nothing) and fragments of the Heart Sutra are inscribed on the sand. We cannot read any story directly, but the painting quietly conveys the artist's prayers that love will conquer in a world constantly wracked by wars springing from intolerance.

Non Dimenticare (Do not Forget)(1994) is anomalous among Kinutani's works for its dark, somber tones(although red and blue are partially used), and the large canvas presents a vista of destruction, massacre, ruins and other horrors of war. The words pika don (an onomatopoetic representation of the atomic bomb's light and sound) are written near the bottom. Despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that the artist's works are often viewed with an aesthetic and sensual eye, the work delivers a message that could only be delivered through brushwork. In this sense, Kinutani's paintings have an affinity with religious art and the philosophy attending it, no matter how contemporary and "Pop" a sensibility they may present.

Another notable point is that Kinutani's exploration of painting techniques like fresco strappo later led to his three-dimensional Styrofoam works in the late 1980s. A work such as Open Pandora's Box (1990) displays characteristics evident since the era of Portrait of Mr. Anselmo, such as fragmented images, saturated color, inclusion of text, and elements of construction and destruction, and is even more powerfully chaotic. Indeed, it is just like opening Pandora's box.

At the end of 2016, the Koji Kinutani Tenku Art Museum opened in Umeda, Osaka. It is located on a high floor of a building overlooking the city of Osaka, and primarily features new and recent works. What fascinates me the most is the screening of 3D images. Through state-of-the-art technology, viewers can be immersed in a world of imagery such as Mount Fuji and the Wind and Thunder Gods, with mythological narrative and galactic scale, where paintings featuring fluid, dynamically linked images such as only this artist could create are boldly enlarged. Kinutani has succeeded in a challenging, and thus thrilling experiment in incorporating painting into video. I look forward to seeing these new experiments with the moving image, as well as the overview of the arc of Kinutani's great, long and diverse journey that this exhibition offers.

「絹谷幸二 個展に寄せて」Message for the Koji Kinutani Exhibition

絹谷 幸二

 日中平和友好条約締結40周年を記念して、絹谷幸二絵画展を中国 北京 清華大学芸術博物館で開催されますことは、私にとりまして望外の喜びです。
 1993年 国際交流基金の文化派遣事業により中央美術学院にて1ヶ月間 ア・フレスコ画実技指導を行いました。近年では2000年頃より二階俊博先生と共に、湖南省長沙で開催された第一回中国中部貿易投資博覧会の日本代表団団長として千人を率いて訪中し、再々に渡り三千人・五千人・一万人の日本人観光客を先導し、日中の観光交流を続けて参りました。
 所で私は、1200年以上も前、中国の鑑真和上が来日された奈良 唐招提寺の近くで生を受けました。日中の交流は何千年に渡って営々と続けられて参りました。今後もこの交流の大河を途絶えることなく続け、このアジアに多彩な文化の華を咲かせなければならないと考えています。私どもは共に、二階俊博先生の掲げる「蓮華ロード」の中にあるのです。


Koji Kinutani

It is an absolute honor for me to hold the Koji Kinutani Exhibition at the Tsinghua University Art Museum in Beijing, China, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China.

Since visiting Dunhuang to study mural painting 40 years ago, I have interacted with the people of China for many years as a member of the Japan-China Cultural Exchange Association,

In 1993, I had the pleasure to teach fresco painting at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts for one month as part of Japan Foundation's cultural exchange program. In 2000, with Mr. Toshihiro Nikai, I participated in the 1st Expo Central China held in Changsha, Hunan province. As the leader of the Japanese delegation, I led a thousand people to China. Since then, I took three thousand, five thousand, and ten thousand Japanese tourists to China and continued to support the Japan-China tourism exchange.

On another note, I was born near the Toshodai-ji temple in Nara prefecture which was founded by the Chinese priest, Ganjin. The exchange between Japan and China has been ongoing for many thousands of years. I believe that I must keep this great river of cultural interaction flowing and help the diverse culture of Asia to flourish. We are all within the "Lotus Road" which Mr. Toshihiro Nikai promotes.

I would be more than pleased if I am able to help enhance spiritual interaction through art, and spread the wings of abundance.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Chinese government, Tsinghua University Art Museum, Mr. Nikai and members of the Shisuikai, Japan-China Exchange Promotion Committee, and to all those who have offered their kind support to make this exhibition possible.

主催者ごあいさつMessage from the Organizer

中西 宏明(日中国交正常化45周年・日中平和友好条約締結40周年 日中交流促進実行委員会委員長)


Hiroaki Nakanishi(Chairman of the Japan-China Exchange Promotion Committee , 45th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China & 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China)

Japan and China are irreplaceable partners who have established a close and reciprocal relationship through many years of exchanges. As globalization rapidly progresses, it is extremely important, not only for Asia but also for the development and prosperity of the world, to promote mutual understanding and trust between the people of both nations.

Celebrating the 45th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China in 2017, and the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China in 2018, in order to further strengthen the Japan-China friendship and cooperation, we established the Japan-China Exchange Promotion Committee in Japan and have supported exchanges between the two countries in various fields such as economics, academics, culture, arts and sports.

It is our great pleasure to be able to hold Mr. Koji Kinutani's solo exhibition in Beijing to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China. Mr. Koji Kinutani is one of the leading painters of contemporary Japan who is active both at home and overseas. He has also worked passionately for many years on promoting cultural exchanges between Japan and China. We are delighted to be able to introduce such an artist to the people of China in this memorable year.

Lastly, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Tsinghua University for co-hosting this exhibition, and to all those who have provided their kind assistance and cooperation. We hope that this event will be an opportunity for many people in China to explore one aspect of contemporary Japanese culture, and that it will help further develop the relationship between Japan and China.

開催のあいさつ Message for the Koji Kinutani Exhibition

二階 俊博(日本国自由民主党幹事長)

 この度、清華大学芸術博物館で日中平和友好条約締結40周年記念「絹谷幸二個展 愛と祈り・豊穣の翼」展を開催するにあたり、清華大学 邱勇学長を始めとする中国側関係者の皆様。日中交流促進実行委員会 委員長 中西 宏明 様を始めとする日本側関係者の皆様に、心より感謝申し上げます。
 2017年12月28日中央党校における私の講演に続き、人民大会堂で中国の最高指導者と日中関係について語った後、清華大学邱勇学長から清華大学名誉教授の称号を戴きました。盛大な晩餐会の催しの中で「美しい蓮の花が咲く頃に 私の出版記念と絹谷先生の絵画展を清華大学で同時開催しましょう」と邱勇学長と私で杯を挙げたのが本展覧会の始まりでした。

Toshihiro Nikai(Liberal Democratic Party of Japan)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to President Qiu Yong of Tsinghua University, Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi of the Japan-China Exchange Promotion Committee, and to all those who were involved in China and Japan for offering their kind support for the "Koji Kinutani Solo Exhibition: Love and Prayer, the Wings of Abundance ― Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Japan-China Peace and Friendship Treaty" at the Tsinghua University.

I am convinced that Koji Kinutani's exhibition is a highly meaningful event that would help pass on the passion and effort of our predecessors in building the friendship between Japan and China to the next generation.

The development of a relationship between two countries ultimately comes down to human interaction. Therefore, it is truly important to create opportunities to for the people of both countries to experience each other's cultures. It will not be possible to develop together, politically or economically, if we do not trust or respect one another from the bottom of our hearts.

Following my lecture at the Central Party School on December 28th, 2017, and my speech about China's highest leader and China-Japan relations at the Great Hall of the People, I received the title of Tsinghua University Emeritus Professor from President Qiu Yong of Tsinghua University. During the grand banquet, President Qiu Yong and I made a toast promising to organize my publication party and Mr. Kinutani's exhibition at the Tsinghua University when the beautiful lotus flowers bloom. This is how this exhibition came to be.

Our country strongly agrees with Mr. Kinutani's ambition to build the future with the power of art. I too will continue to strive for this goal, and would like to express my sincere congratulations to Mr. Kinutani.