Special Exhibition1945±5 War and Reconstruction: How Artists Faced the Turbulent Period

1945±5 is an exhibition that focuses on art in Japan during the five years before and five years after 1945. These were no doubt the most turbulent ten years in modern Japanese history, with the earlier five years overlapping with the Second Sino-Japanese War (which began in 1937) and the war in the Pacific (starting in 1941), and the later five years seeing Japan’s defeat and subsequent occupation by Allied forces. During that decade of trauma and tumult, how did artists express themselves, and in what manner did they relate to society?
The war was fought not with military might alone, but by attempting to mobilize all Japan’s people and devote every resource to the war effort. Under these circumstances, artistic activity was strictly controlled, and artists were required to cooperate with military campaigns. Painters produced war scene paintings or portraits honoring commanding officers. However, these war paintings contained elements that transcended their genre, and the activities of individual artists were not completely restricted to aiding the war effort. While swept up in the colossal wave of history, artists remained a diverse group of creative people expressing themselves through various creative actions. These actions are explored in depth in this exhibition, which presents nearly 200 works, with a particular focus on oil painting.

artists *In alphabetical order

Ai-Mitsu, Tsuguharu FOUJITA, Ichiro FUKUZAWA, Iwami FURUSAWA, Chimei HAMADA,
Tetsuro KOMAI, Toshiro MAEDA, Iri, Toshi MARUKI, Shunsuke MATSUMOTO, Shigeru MIZUKI,
Takayuki MORI, Junkichi MUKAI, Maki NAI, Ken-ichi NAKAMURA, Toshio NAKANISHI,
Taro OKAMOTO, Hidetaka ONO, Toshi SHIMIZU, Kakuo SHINKAI, Kunitaro SUDA,
Tadashi SUGIMATA, Konosuke TAMURA, Masaaki TERADA, Masao TSURUOKA, Kikuji YAMASHITA,
Hiroshi YOSHIDA, Jiro YOSHIHARA, and more…

Exhibition flyer(PDF:1.85MB)

Date July 30 – October 10, 2016
Hours 10:00-17:00 (Last admission 16:30)
Closed Mondays (except Sept.19 and Oct.10) and Sept.20
Admission Adults 1,030 (820) yen, University students 720 (620) yen,
High school students and seniors[65 and over]510 (410) yen
*Figures in parentheses: Advance purchase and groups of 30 or more
*Junior high school students and younger: free admission
Organized by Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, The Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan Association of Art Museums
Supported by Hiroshima Prefecture, Hiroshima Municipal Board of Education, Hiroshima FM Broad Casting Co., Ltd.,
Onomichi FM Broad Casting Co., Ltd.
In cooperation with Lion Corporation, Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.,
Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc.

Toshio Nakanishi, Taking a Walk
The Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki

Shusei Kobayakawa
Shield of the Nation
1944 (partially repainted in 1968)
Kyoto Ryozen Gokoku Shrine (Deposit to Nichinan Art Museum)

Jiro Yoshihara, Group, c1946
Hyogo Prefectual Museum of Art

Masao Tsuruoka, Heavy Hand, 1949
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo