Close friends and admirers of Toko Shinoda gathered at the elegant International House of Japan in Roppongi for this occasion. Mr. Tolman, founder of the Tolman Collection Tokyo gave the opening speech thanking the many guests and his team for contributing to a successful event that day:
“Toko Shinoda was the lady who became famous all around the world for her abstract paintings. I was lucky enough when leaving my Foreign Service career to live next to her, and I became her art dealer.”
“Shinoda san passed away last year at an admirable age of 108. This exhibit that we put out was to celebrate her life.”
Special guest, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, was not able to attend the reception. However, through Tolman’s daughter who flew in to Japan for this special occasion, the governor had a special message for the audience:
“She apologized that she couldn’t attend these events but she wanted everybody to know that starting with Norman Tolman, he really made Shinoda’s work and her name known all around the world. And it’s the fresh energy of Shinoda san and her strong spirit as a woman that has kept her work going. She’s incredibly delighted that Norman Tolman and this gallery has supported and continues to support Shinoda’s san work.
After the speech all guests raised their glasses to celebrate Shinoda san, Mr. Tolman and this special gallery.
About Toko Shinoda:
Toko Shinoda (1913-2021) was an artist who pioneered abstract expression using ink while making “writing” a fundamental part of her work in the deeply rooted fields of Japanese culture. Her work ranged from calligraphy, abstract paintings, prints, and other two-dimensional works, as well as large-scale works such as architectural walls, to essays in which she wrote about her creativity and views on life with delicate brushstrokes.
In the more than 70 years since her twenties before the Pacific War, she has been a rare example of an artist who, while keeping abreast of the changes of the times and embracing the new, has also maintained her own sense of beauty and continued to demonstrate the possibilities of ink painting.
The Musée Tomo has held solo exhibitions of Toko Shinoda as a museum that has a strong connection with the artist and exhibits her works on a permanent basis, thanks to the relationship between the founder, Tomo Kikuchi (1923-2016), and the artist. This exhibition will commemorate the artist, who passed away last year at the age of 107, and introduce her creations once again.