Ueno Artist Project 2022

“Beauty Nurtured by The Tale of Genji —It Is Fate That Brings Us Together”

The Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Ueno is known for holding many world-class art exhibitions. However, the mission of this museum is not only that. It supports young artists, holds more than 200 public exhibitions a year, and also holds unique exhibitions.

The “Beauty Nurtured by The Tale of Genji — It Is Fate That Brings Us Together” exhibition is being held as part of the “Ueno Artist Project” that started in 2017. This project is an exhibition held every year by the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, which is also known as the “hometown of public exhibitions,” with the intention of passing on its history and developing it into the future.

MORIYA Tadashi, ‘Pilgrimage to Sumiyoshi Shrine’ from the ‘Miotsukushi’ Chapter,  1991,  Private Collection

The theme of this sixth exhibition, held from November 19, 2022 through January 6, 2023, is “The Tale of Genji.” The Tale of Genji, written by Murasaki Shikibu in the Heian period, still lives on in the hearts of the Japanese people with a charm that has not faded even after more than 1,000 years.

In line with the unique theme of The Tale of Genji, the exhibition introduces seven artists who create works with very free ideas in various genres, such as painting, calligraphy, dyeing, and glass crafts. However, each artist’s individuality and artistry are different, and the medium of expression is completely different. Therefore, the world view of “The Tale of Genji” spun out from those works has been revived in modern times with the vividness of living in the present.

As you proceed through the exhibit to appreciate the Tale of Genji by a calligrapher, the Tale of Genji by a glass craftsman, by a dyeing artist, etc., the world of Japanese paintings by the painter Tadashi Moriya opens up the last chapter of this exhibition. From the delicacy of the depiction that is reminiscent of the Heian period, people can see the thoughts and rich character depictions that the author, Murasaki Shikibu, put into this story. From the drawings of each character drawn by Tatashi Moriya, it seems that their personalities and lives are conveyed.

Although this is a contemporary art exhibition, it also shows a world that has been woven by Japanese people for a long time, and has a long history. It is an exhibition where you can enjoy the greatness of Japan.

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