Little Art House
— A selection of masterpieces from the Modern Kogei Exhibition series
The 1st period: feat. Kosei Matsui, October 4 (Tue) to December 23 (Fri), 2016
The 2nd period: feat. Koichi Tamura, January 5 (Thu) to April 2 (Sun), 2017
The 3rd period: feat. Hisatoshi Iwata, April 4 (Tue) to July 9 (Sun), 2017
The starting point of Shiseido’s cultural support activities is Shiseido Gallery, which opened in December 1919. Since its establishment, the Gallery has provided space for rising artists to present their artworks free of charge in order to assist their public debut. In addition to providing such opportunities, the Gallery has purchased some of their artworks as further support of the artists. In order to house those purchased artworks and exhibit them to a wide range of people, Shiseido opened Shiseido Art House in 1978. Its in-house facilities have undergone renovation as a prelude to marking its 40th anniversary in 2018. During the temporary closure of the Art House, its collection was exhibited in Shiseido Corporate Museum.
Divided into three time periods, the exhibition showed artworks of three selected historic artists, Kosei Matsui, Koichi Tamura and Hisatoshi Iwata. Their works were once among those exhibited at the Modern Kogei Exhibition, a series of regular exhibitions, held at Shiseido Gallery for 20 years from 1975. The first period of the exhibition featured Kosei Matsui and the second period, Koichi Tamura. Both were potters designated as holders of Important Intangible Cultural Property (Living National Treasure) for their unique techniques–“neriagede” (marbleized, colored-clay ware) for Matsui and “tetsue” (iron-glazed patterned ceramics) for Tamura. Their artworks were exhibited first at the fourth Modern Kogei Exhibition and onwards. The third period of the exhibition featured glass artist Hisatoshi Iwata. He was one of the organizing members of the Modern Kogei Exhibition and his artworks were exhibited until the 18th exhibition. He is the first son of Toshichi Iwata, one of the pioneering glass artists in Japan, who once exhibited his artworks at Shiseido Gallery. Hisatoshi Iwata’s daughter, Ruri Iwata, is also a glass artist, whose artworks are also exhibited in Shiseido Art House’s outdoor exhibition space. The exhibition at Shiseido Corporate Museum also showed Shiseido’s products produced by the company’s past creators who aimed to create “artistic products” that embody a common spirit with “kogei” (Japanese crafts).