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HIRAFUKU Hyakusui, Fountain, 1924, private collection

HIRAFUKU Hyakusui, Fountain, 1924, private collection

The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama

2208-1, Isshiki, Hayama, Kanagawa
Tel. +81 46 875 2800

Inquiry form
Museum Library

Train Station: Zushi (JR Yokosuka Line) or Shin-Zushi (Keihin Kyuko Line).
Take Keihin Kyuko Bus no.11 or 12 and get off at "Sangaoka" Stop.
From Tokyo: about 1 hour by train + about 15 minutes by bus.

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Reappreciated: Korean and Japanese Modern Artists in the Korean Peninsula, 1890s to 1960s

April 4 - May 8, 2015

This exhibition focuses on works of art hailing from Japan and Korea during the first half of the 20th century, and the interaction between their artists. From within this contradiction-fraught, newly modern era, artists from both Japan and Korea attempted to see beyond the grievances they felt from the social limitations placed on them, and use the power of art in order to enrich their personal worlds. Now, through this exhibition, we make the attempt try encounter and appreciate the resulting works once again, with a fresh set of eyes.
  Here, leading Japanese modern artists who had strong bonds with South Korea such as FUJISHIMA Takeji, TSUCHIDA Bakusen, YAMAGUCHI Hoshun, the ASAKAWA Noritaka and ASAKAWA Takumi, and YAMAGUCHI Takeo, appear alongside Korean masters with a strong connection to Japan, such as KO Huidong, LEE Insung, LEE Joongsub, LEE Quede, and KIM Byung-ki. The exhibition also draws on the results of the latest research in order to present the works of those Japanese artists living in Korea before the war such as TPRII Noboru, ARAI Tatsuo, SATO Kunio, and IRIE Kazuko, who have been mostly neglected until now. Amidst this variety, what comes into view is the complex, multifaceted nature of the art scene of the time. The stunning efforts of these pioneers who set about the act of creation driven by a conviction in the power of art despite the troublesome times in which they lived has the power to inspire us those of us living in these two nations in the twenty first century with great bravery and hope.
  With large numbers of works on loan from the the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea and the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, the Gwangju Museum of Art (HA Jungwoong Collection) and private collectors in Korea, as well as art and cultural museums and private collectors in Japan, this large-scale exhibition is scheduled to tour six art museums inside Japan.

Section One - Encountering Korea
In old times, there was an unabated flow of things and people between the nations of Korea and Japan, but once we enter the modern period, relations between the two nations grew more complex still. Artists travelling from Japan to the Korean Peninsula had assorted purposes for doing so: holidays, judging exhibitions, teaching posts, family-related reasons, and so on. There were also Japanese artists born on the Korean Peninsula. What did these Japanese artists from varying positions seek to express about the Korea they encountered at that time? In this first section, we look at these stories of Korea told mainly through the work of these Japanese artists - a place of adult entertainment and kisaeng courtesans like nothing they had seen before, desirable works of pottery, and much more.

Section Two - The Background to "Modern Korea"
Visiting Japanese artists were frequently drawn by Korea's places of scenic beauty and historical interest, such as the architecture and castle gates of the Gyeongbokgung Palace. However, the perspectives of those Japanese artists who had moved to the Peninsula and made lives for themselves there differed from those who were merely travelling, address the nation's artistic traditions in their own work, or displaying a painterly interest in such run of the mill scenery as the old-style houses. On the other hand, native Korean artists went about depicting the state of the town in the process of modernization. Japan's Mount Kongo, once a holy territory which became a famous tourist spot in the modern era, was painted by both Korean and Japanese artists. In the differences to their approaches and representative styles, we find hints to unraveling these artists' hidden stories.

Section Three - Everyday Modern Living
From the opening up of the Korean Peninsula in 1876 onwards, the Chosen dynasty and Korean Empire were hit by a wave of dramatic modernization. The nation's annexation by Japan in 1910 accentuated things still further, bringing about furious development at a rate unique amongst Northeast Asian countries. Naturally, this is reflected in the art from this time. We see city scenes with rows of new buildings, "modern boys" and "modern girls" in Western clothes, or else young girls in traditional costume in a room surrounded by modern items. Magazines and books, too, boasted cutting-edge design. Yet as well as the mental and spiritual hardship that went with being a colonized nation, life in Korea at the time also comprised a corner of unadorned mundaneness, so much a part of people's lives that it was not even acknowledged as tradition.

Section Four - Artist Groups and the Teacher-Pupil Relationship
In the past, when the subject of the relationship between Korean and Japanese art has come under scrutiny, a focus has usually been placed on the Chosen Art Exhibition in Korea, established in 1922 as part of the Japanese colonial government policy, and on the study of those from Korea in Japanese educational institutions, such as art colleges in Tokyo. However, when we turn to consider the interaction of individual artists, we see a greater variety of relationships, which took place both on Korean soil and within Japan. While there were organizations dealing with research and exhibitions run by Koreans for Koreans, there were also artist groups and art magazines run by Japanese living on the Korean Peninsula, as well as not an insignificant number of activities in which both Japanese and Koreans participated. In the field of Oriental art, with its custom sharing the two nations' traditions and for the creation of books featuring illustrations and calligraphy from both nations, there were individual teacher-pupil relationships and exchanges of gifts between Koreans and Japanese. Many Korean artists participated in the Jiyu Bijutsuka Kyokai (Free Artists' Association) set up in Japan, and in 1940 the group held a "Seoul" exhibition.
  Of course, not all of the artists involved in the scene interacted with others, and we would therefore be wrong to reduce the entire scene to a tableau of "interaction." History, when weaved together from social relationships, and art, when composed of the activity of free individuals, necessarily takes on an unwieldy complexity that cannot be easily summarized.

Section Five - Epilogue
On 15th August 1945, Japan surrendered, putting an end to World War II as well as its colonial rule of Korea. Subsequently, in 1965, The Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea was signed. Those Korean artists who had been active prior to 1945 now came to play a leading role in the development of the art scene in South Korea, contributing greatly to art education and exhibitions, whereas with a few exceptions, those Japanese artists who returned to Japan mostly failed to make a noticeable contribution, and many fell into obscurity.
  As a way of concluding the exhibition, we present the subsequent works of those Korean artists who had showed potential before the war, and those Japanese artists with a deep connection with Korea. For us living in the present age, the creative orbits of these artists that links together the times pre-1945 with those after it, can surely serve as a waymarker for us, even amid the struggles and worries that we have to bear, in fostering compassion and understanding between our two nations into the future.


Related Programs

[Memorial Lecture]
KIM Byung-ki, painter, will give a lecture about the art scene at Tokyo in 1930s.
Listener: KIM Hyeshin (Associate professor of Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts) and LEE Mina (Curator of The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama)
Date & Time: Saturday, April 4 13:00-14:30
Venue: HAYAMA, Auditorium
No bookings needed, Free, First 50 comers
*Only available in Japanese

[International Symposium]
Date & Time: Sunday, April 5 10:00-17:00
Venue: The Japan Foundation, JICH Hall "SAKURA"
Access: site)

Speakers: TOMII Masanori (Hangyang University, Seoul) ,KIM Inhye (National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea), KIM Hyunsook (Korean Supervisor of this exhibition, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul), LEE Mina (The Museum of Mondern Art, Kamakura & Hayama)
Commentators: KAWAMURA Minato (Hosei University), MIZUSAWA Tsutomu (The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama), KOKATSU Toyoko (Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts), USHIROKOJI Masahiro (Kyushu University)

Bookings needed.
Please apply via E-mail or FAX with your name, company name, E-mail address and Tel/Fax number.
E-mail: / FAX: 03-5369-6038
The deadline for the application : Friday, April 3
*Japanese / Korean simultanious interpretation

[Director's Talk]
MIZUSAWA Tsutomu, Director of The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama, will talk about this exhibition in the gallery.
Date & Time: Saturday, May 2 14:00-15:00
No bookings needed, free with exhibition ticket.
*Only available in Japanese

[Curator's Talk]
Curator will talk about this exhibition in the gallery.
Date & Time:
Saturday, April 18
Wednesday/National Holiday, April 29
Wednesday/National Holiday, May 6
No bookings needed, free with exhibition ticket.
*Only available in Japanese

[Special Tour for Children's Day]
We will hold a special tour for children in the gallery.
Date & Time: Tuesday/National Holiday, May 5 10:30-11:30
Target Age: elementary-school students or above (Parents are allowed to participate as well)
No bookings needed, free with exhibition ticket.
*Only available in Japanese

For more information, see "News/Events".


Mondays (except for May 4)

Opening hours

9:30-17:00 (the last admission is at 16:30)


Adults: 1,000 yen (900 yen)
Under 20 or Students: 850 yen (750 yen)
65 and over: 500 yen
Senior High School Students: 100 yen

  • Prices in ( ) indicate group (more than 20 persons) discount tickets.
  • Students under junior-high-school age and disabled visitors are of no charge.
  • "Family Communication Day" - reduced entry for all family members (except for 65 and over) accompanied by a child under 18 on the first Sunday of every month (April 5, and May 3).