Four Brazilian Printmakers Exhibition
The aim of the exhibition
One hundred years have passed since a number of Japanese people emigrated to Brazil. The year 2008 celebrates the centennial anniversary of the Japanese emigration to Brazil and the exchanges between the two countries with a variety of events being held. As an artist I have participated in many international print exhibitions and organised a number of relevant exhibitions. In doing so, I have become very interested in Brazilian prints. In May 2007 I visited San Paulo as part of a Group Study Exchange (GSE) Program Member of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. I spent a month studying the country’s art and I recognised its excellence. This led to the idea of organising an exhibition of Brazilian prints in order to introduce them to the Japanese public and sharing my experience with them.
As it is possible to transport print works easily by post, a number of international print competitions have been held as cultural exchanges in different places in the world since the end of the Second World War. Among these places Brazil has been particularly important, as it has been the home venue for the San Paulo Biennale. This has had a quite long history among the various art biennials. Also, it was an historic watershed when Japanese prints, rather than other genres of Japanese art, became internationally recognised there. It was the first recognition of Japanese art in the post war period. A number of the Japanese artists including Shiko Munakata, Tetsuro Komai and Fumiaki Fukita were awarded prizes at the San Paulo Biennales and contributed to the development of post-war Japanese art. This has now become to be seen as an important chapter in the history of Japanese prints. Today Brazil has the image of being of a culturally developing country; however, works created by Brazilian artists have actually received recognition and acclaim all over the world for some time.
Despite the mutual exchanges between Brazil and Japan thathave taken place over the last hundred years, very little of Brazilian culture, other than football and the Samba, has been introduced into Japan. Although there has been a growing intimate relationship, Japan can still be misunderstood in Brazil as being a country of samurai. As such, Japan and Brazil are still culturally separated by a great distance. Recently we have seen a number of Brazilian installation works that were introduced through a large-scale programme at an established Japanese artinstitution. However, based on my own experience of the climate I feel that Brazilian prints can better express the air of Brazil. Print is a medium that expresses a country’s climate by pressing it onto the paper as a memory. It can be said that the characteristics of Brazilian prints lie in their strong and simple expression that so successfully represents the essence of the Brazilian climate. Japan is often regarded as ‘The Land of the Art Print’ and it has been a leading light in the international print world. However, we have not had any exhibitions that focus on the fascinating expression of Brazilian print works, with the aim of contributing to the exchanges between the two countries.
Accordingly, I fostered the idea of organising an exhibition in Tokyo to introduce four Brazilian artists who are still unknown in Japan. These artists are attached to the Gravura Brasileira, a commercial gallery of contemporary prints in San Paulo. I have known this gallery ever since I visited San Paulo as a previously mentioned GSE Program Member. The proposed exchange event will introduce the magnificence of Brazilian contemporary culture to Japan. We also believe that the exhibition will be a great opportunity for both Japanese and Brazilian artists, those of the younger generation in particular, to stimulate each other and learn from the others’ culture. The Mominoki Gallery will be the exhibition’s venue. The owner of this commercial gallery has a special affinity with Brazil as her mother has developed a significant cultural relationship with Brazil over the last thirty years and has a great knowledge of the country’s culture. I think that these particular circumstances will be suitable for the proposed exchange event between the two countries. We will invite the Brazilian artists and introduce them to Japan through an exhibition as part of the celebration of the centenary anniversary of the Japanese emigration to Brazil.
■ Name ofthe Project: ‘Four Brazilian Printmakers Exhibition’
■ Dates: 4th (Fri) – 14th (Mon) July 2008
■ Mominoki Gallery (6-33-14, Okusawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 158-0083)
■ Exhibited Artists: Armando Sobral, Ernesto Bonato, Fabricio Lopez and Ulysses Boscolo
■ Curator: Masaaki Ohya (Member of the Japan Print Association and the Japan Artists Association, Inc.)
■ Organiser: Mariko Otsuka, the owner of the Mominoki Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
■ Co-organiser: Eduardo Besen, the owner of the Gravura Brasileira, San Paulo, Brazil
■ Supported by: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Embassy of Brazil in Tokyo, the Trade Association of Minami-Jiyugaoka and the Tamagawa Second Branch of Corporations
4th July 2008, Masaaki Ohya (Exhibition Curator)