Sugoi! 200 Years of Japanese Art

May 13, 2023 - September 24, 2023

The KIA’s longstanding history of collecting works
and presenting exhibitions celebrating the artists
and art practices of East Asia continues with Sugoi!
200 Years of Japanese Art. Opening in two parts,
this exciting exhibition uses select loans while also
highlighting the breadth of the KIA’s permanent
collection to illuminate the ways in which Japanese
and Japanese American artists have depicted society
and their environments, challenged artistic and
societal conventions, or innovated long-standing
artistic practices and explored new media.

Artists like Hiroshige Ando chose to depict the
day-to-day happenings of city life. In contrast,
Katsushika Hokusai and Toyokuni Utagawa works
reveal the importance of Japanese theatre, not only
for social entertainment but also for historical
narratives. Akira Kurosaki and Haku Maki use
bold colors and expressive lines to create abstract
compositions that allude to the world in which
we live. Artists Roger Shimomura, Tomokazu
Matsuyama, and Oishi Sakaya offer contemporary
reflections on society and innovative approaches to
their chosen media. Mako Idemitsu and Takahiko
Iimura demonstrate the desire to break free of
traditional Japanese norms and ways of being.
Altogether, Sugoi! demonstrates the unique
and varying ways artists have depicted the joys,
trials, and innovations of Japanese culture spanning
the last two centuries.

Toyokuni Utagawa, Kabuki Actor Onoe Matsuke as Townsman in Festival Outfit, 1812, woodblock print. Collection of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts; Gift of Stan and Connie Rajnak.
Sensitive Apple - Black & White, 2022