Involving the collaboration of both Ca’ Pesaro museums – the International Gallery of Modern Art and the Museum of Oriental Art – the exhibition comprises some eighty works by the Japanese artist Kuniaki Kurioki (Suki, province of Miyazaki, 1945). Produced over the last twenty years, these draw upon the unchallenged masterpieces of Japanese art. One source of inspiration is the art of Ogata Kōrin (Kyoto, 1658-1716), a painter and lacquer-worker whose art exemplified the seventeenth-century Rimpa tradition of decoration, which was itself inspired by the art of the Heian period (794-1185). Another is The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō, a famous set of coloured wood-cuts created in the years 1833-34 by Utagawa Hiroshige (Tokyo, 1797-1858); enjoying a previously unknown level of popular success, these works formed a sort of ‘travel diary’ in images recounting a journey along the Tōkaidō, the coastal road between Edo (modern-day Tokyo) and Kyoto.
In both cases, Kurioki sets out to interpret rather than replicate the art of former ages. Using his mastery of all the various techniques of glass-making, he captures the essence of these works in new forms in a new medium.
The exhibition has been organised by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia in collaboration with the Soprintendenza Speciale per il Polo Museale Veneziano and the Kuniaki Kuroki Assoication, with the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Embassy in Italy, the Japanese Consulate in Milan, the Prefecture of Myazaki, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Italy, the Rome Japanese Cultural Institute, the Fondazione Italia-Giappone, the Regional Government of the Veneto and the Provincial Government of Venice. It was made possible by collaboration with R&M Japan Co. and Made in Italy.it, with the support of H.I.S. Highest International Standards, KWE Kintetsu Italia and Savino del Bene.