Special ExhibitionThe Innocent Paintings: Ai-Mitsu, Shunsuke, and the Painters of the War Era

This exhibition presents works from the late 1920s through circa 1950 by a group of painters who lived through the World War II years, with a focus on Shunsuke Matsumoto and Hiroshima native Ai-Mitsu.
Ai-Mitsu (birth name: Nichiro Ishimura) was born in Hiroshima in 1907. The fantastical yet elaborately detailed, astoundingly realistic depictions in his paintings, and his highly original compositions influenced by the traditions of East Asian painting, brim with tension and embody an irreplaceable beauty of which only painting is capable. He was drafted in 1944, and died in Shanghai shortly after the war’s end at the age of 38.
Shunsuke Matsumoto was born in Tokyo in 1912, and lost his hearing due to illness around the time he entered junior high school. He observed Tokyo, which was in the process of growing into a megacity, finding subject matter and creating in his art a unique world of intersecting images. A vigilantly disciplined mentality enabled him to hold on to his personal integrity in the most trying of times, and underlay his work like a hidden crystalline structure. He died of illness in 1948 at the age of 36, but the luminosity of his paintings continues enchanting viewers to this day.
In addition to works by these two artists, this exhibition features approximately 160 pieces by artists who lived during the same era and continued painting despite the many tribulations of the war years. We hope the presentation of these works in Hiroshima, which this year marks 75 years since the atomic bombing, will offer opportunities to realize anew the transcendent power of painting.

Artists *In order of birth year

Ai-Mitsu, Shunsuke Matsumoto, Koshiro Onchi, Toshiyuki Hasekawa, Kigai Kawaguchi,
Ichiro Fukuzawa, Seiji Chokai, Takeo Yamaguchi, Sho Yamaji, Jiro Yoshihara, Masanari Murai,
Tatsuoki Nanbata, Sabuo Hasegawa, Chouzaburo Inoue, Masao Tsuruoka, Kaoru Yamaguchi,
Minoru Kitagawa, Tadashi Yoshii, Yoshio Mori, Wasaburo Itozono, Masaaki Terada, Gyokuju Funada,
Saburo Aso, Yuki Katsura, Tetsuro Sawada, Jun Nakano

Exhibition flyer(PDF:1MB)

Date May 30-July 19, 2020
Hours 10:00-17:00 (Last admission 16:30)
Closed Mondays
Admission Adults 1,200 (1,000) yen, University students 900 (700) yen, High school students and seniors [65 and over] 600 (500) yen
*Junior high school students and younger: Free admission
*Figures in parentheses: Advance purchase and groups of 30 or more
Organized by Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, The Chugoku Shimbun
Sponsored by Hiroshima Prefecture, Hiroshima Municipal Board of Education, Hiroshima FM Broadcasting Co., Ltd.,
Onomichi FM Broadcasting Co., Ltd.
Special cooperation Okawa Museum of Art, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum

Ai-Mitsu Komisa (Girl Leaning on an Umbrella) 1929
Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum

Shunsuke Matsumoto Bridge in Y- City 1944 Private Collection

Masanari Murai URBAIN No.1 1936
The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama

Masao Tsuruoka The Beginning 1952