“Shinbism - Twenty artists, selected by the Shinshu Museum Network” is an epoch-making exhibition. One reason is that it’s a project that Mr. Motoe Kunio has conducted for the first time since he was chosen as the Art Director of the exhibition. Another reason is that it’s a group exhibition being held simultaneously at four venues. Twenty curators, each from twenty different museums, selected only one artist respectively. This exhibition is also an attempt to promote the network of curators among the different museums.
Motoe Kunio - Art Director, and the Shinbism Working Group Members of the Working Group, which was organized in November 2016, have communicated with each other using the mailing list, holding meetings among members belonging to the same venue and corresponding personally by e-mails, in addition to regular official meetings which were held five times. “Shinbism” stands for “the essence of beauty in the art in Shinshu”. At the same time, it also represents “new art” and “true art.”
On May 18, 2017, the members of the Working Group, exhibitors along with office staff, thirty people in total, lined up in the interview room which located on the third floor of the prefectural office building, and the curators gave presentations for introducing the exhibition and the artists. About thirty people from the press gathered there, and the interview was shown on TV and read in press news the same evening in Nagano Prefecture, which made an appeal for the project as a pioneer exhibition to society.
The Environment of Shinbism and a View of the Exhibition There are a great number of Shinshu-based artists, and the environment surrounding them and the museums is conducive to the creation and exhibition of art. When surveying the works of the twenty exhibitors of Shinbism, the main themes they dealt with seemed to be “light and shadow,” “life and figures,” “nature and time” and so on. Each of the themes is a fundamental part of our lives, and the artists seriously face them in their respective ways with their keen sensibilities, expressing introspection as well. A common characteristic among them could be that they continue to endeavor to fulfill their mission, focusing on self-originated themes they cherish individually. In addition, I perceived rays of hope emanating deeply from their works.
The Value of the Museums in Shinshu Nagano Prefecture has the most museums among all the prefectures and other districts in Japan. There is a wealth of original museums and collections in Shinshu which reflect the different areas and their individual tastes. So, the art tours around museums throughout Shinshu must give audiences a precious experience, which big cities cannot provide. Moreover, they also offer excellent chances for future artists and art connoisseurs by encouraging their talent.
Additionally, there are a lot of museums having only one curator. Because the curators deal with all kinds of affairs related to the exhibitions, it’s important that all the museums are linked together to prevent them from isolation. The “Shinshu Museum Network Project” plays an important role in this respect as well. I really wish that the inhabitants of Nagano Prefecture will be proud of the museums and the artists in Shinshu, and the people outside Nagano Prefecture will pay much more attention to this pioneering and unique project in Japan.