Art Link Tochigi 2007 “Kawakami Sumio: The Life of Longing”

Exhibit Period

None of the exhibited works in Part I will be on display in Part II.
Part 1:December 7, 2007 (Friday) - January 20, 2008 (Sunday)
Part 2:January 25, 2008 (Friday) - March 2, 2008 (Sunday)

Exhibit Times

9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(last admissions at 4:30 p.m.)

Museum closed

Mondays (except for January 14 and February 11, national holidays when the museum is open). Also closed January 15 and February 12; January 21 - 24 when the display is being changed; and the year-end holiday December 25 - January 2

Admission Fee

Adults: 500 (450) yen; High School, College Students: 300 (270) Elementary, Junior High School Students: 100 (90) yen * Fees in parentheses are group rates for 20 or more patrons * Free admission for patrons aged 70 years and over, and preschoolers * Half-price for patrons (with a Disability I.D., etc.) with accessibility and special needs, and for one accompanying caregiver


Known for his woodblock prints depicting the themes of Western customs and cultural enlightenment, the distinctively brilliant Kawakami Sumio (1895-1972) made his presence felt even among those in the creative woodblock print movement of the Taisho and Meiji Periods. While pursuing higher education at Aoyama Gakuin, Sumio's eyes were opened to the woodblock print. Although he came under the influence of Yokohama-e prints and the work of other artists, the works he generated brim over with poetic sentiment, belying the fact he was mostly self-taught. One thing that drove Sumio to produce these works was longing-a longing for foreign countries, cultural enlightenment, his late mother and the women he loved. Those feelings sometimes took shape as poetry, other times as woodblock prints, eloquently telling us the tale of the artist's inner world.
Although born in Yokohama and raised in Tokyo, because Sumio spent many years in Utsunomiya as an English conversation teacher, teaching school while working on his creative activities, he's an artist with a deep association with Tochigi Prefecture.
This exhibition is part of Artlink Tochigi 2007 (a movement to share the works of the Tochigi Prefectural Art Museum Collection with other museums), and in addition to the woodblock prints that are the main body of his activity, we also introduce his oil paintings, sketches, personal books, glass art, and other items-100 various works spanning a variety of genres, presented in two parts. By tracing the world that Kawakami Sumio could not help but long for, we can get a feel for one part of his creative work

Related Events

All events begin at 1:30 p.m., and are presented in Japanese, only. Payment of museum admission fee is required.
January 27, 2008 (Sunday)
 Exhibit Commentary – “Kawakami Sumio: Earthy and Divine”
 Lecturer: Takeyama Hirohiko, Art Historian

December 8, 2007; January 12, 2008; January 26, 2008; February 9, 2008; February 23, 2008 (all dates are Saturdays)
 Museum Talk (exhibit commentary)
 An exhibit commentary by one of our curators