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Museum and Archives Exhibition
Asai Chu and Kyoto 1900-1907 Exhibition
Planning: Cultural Heritage Education Research Center
Asai Chu and Kyoto 1900-1907 Exhibition
Art nouveau peaked in Paris from the late 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. Craft and ornamentation, which had come to be regarded as secondary, entered the limelight as “new art.” Asai Chu (1856 - 1907) traveled to Paris to visit the Paris Exposition where he realized the potential importance and future of this movement. At that time, Asai happened to meet Nakazawa Iwata, who visited Paris as part of his preparation for opening one of KIT’s predecessor schools, Kyoto College of Technology. Asai accepted the post of professor of the department of design at Kyoto College of Technology.

Asai, who was born in Sakura, Chiba Prefecture, moved to Kyoto with the opening of the college in 1902. He studied Western painting in Tokyo with the Italian painter, Fontanesi and held a professorship at Tokyo Fine Arts School (currently Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music) up until his trip to Europe. This was his first experience with Kansai. He remained based in Kyoto where he was active in a wide range of creative endeavors until he passed away at the age of 52 in December 1907. That ended the chapter of Asai in Kyoto.

Asai’s circle of activities extended beyond the walls of the Department of Design of Kyoto College of Technology. He formed the Yutoen group with young ceramic artists and with lacquerware artisans the Kyoshitsuen group began to produce work with enthusiastic new design sensibility. Kansai artists who adored Asai as a Western painter established Shogoin Western Art Research Center and Kansai Bijyutsuin where they played a central role in producing work and educating others regarding Western art. Three well known painters of the Kansai Bijyutsuin are Umehara Ryuzaburo, Yasui Sotaro, and Suda Kunitaro. In 1907, the final year of his life, Asai was the judge for the first national Ministry of Education sponsored art exhibition and completed the Warrior Hunting Scene (property of Museum and Archives, KIT). In this year, he also established the Kyu’undo where ceramics by his original designs were dealt with.

In this exhibition, “Asai Chu and Kyoto, 1900 - 1907,” the spotlight is on a portion of Asai’s life which is relatively unknown, the years from the Paris Exposition to the end of his life in Kyoto. We hope this will bring to light the varied relationships which were made possible through Asai and Isoda Taka who opened the Kyu’undo together that Asai had long hoped to establish.
Duration March 15 through April 30, 2010
Venue KIT Museum and Archives
Hours 10:00~17:00
(no admission after 16:30)
Closed Sundays and public holidays
Admission Adults: 200 yen
University students: 150 yen
Persons under age 18: Free
Inquiries Museum and Archives
Kyoto Institute of Technology

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