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Brief Message from the Organizers of the “Shinbism2 Exhibition – Twenty Artists Selected from the Shinshu Museum Network”

The Nagano Prefectural Agency for Cultural Promotion, a general incorporated foundation, in cooperation with the Nagano Prefectural Government, is going to host the second art exhibition, “Shinbism2,” jointly planned and produced not only by the curators from public and private institutions, but also freelance curators, having various careers, in the prefecture.

The title of the exhibition, “Shinbism,” stands for “the essence of beauty in the art in Shinshu.” In this case, “shin”-信 stands for Shinshu (Nagano Prefecture.) The “bi”-美 means beauty or art, and “ism”-イズム conveys “essence or principle.” At the same time, instead of using 信, which is pronounced “shin,” we can replace it with several homonyms having the same sounds as “shin,” but differ in meanings, in order to elaborate on the meaning of “Shinbism.” Thus, “Shinbi” could be written as 新美 meaning new, art/beauty, 真美 meaning true, art/beauty, and 親美 meaning accessible, art/beauty. Now we are endeavoring to extend our unreserved support to the artists and provide great variety of richer information to all citizens in the prefecture, by raising the motivation and skill of the curators, who worked hard to connect citizens with the artists and their works, and further promote strong networking among museums in Nagano Prefecture.

Upon this opening, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for all who offered their cooperation and support for the materialization of this exhibition.

December 2018

The Organizers



長野県芸術監督 多摩美術大学教授 本江 邦夫

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Sublime Mission

Art Director of Nagano Prefecture, Professor at Tama Art University

Motoe, Kunio

As I mentioned before, I used to spend summers in the “Students’ Village” in Shinshu, as a university student. While staying in Norikurakogen Plateau, I happened to visit Kamikochi, together with my friends. However, against our expectations, it wasn’t so easy to get there. Firstly, we had to go down to Shinshimashima to change buses, and then, travel up and up. Upon arriving, we found that it was an upper-class tourist attraction where the Kamikochi Imperial Hotel, which is operated only during the summer season, was enshrined. Luckily, it was a sunny day, and we might have walked around the grounds. However, strangely enough, my only reminiscence of my experience in Kamikochi is barely but a sight, or rather a “vision,” which I encountered there.

If I remember correctly, I was standing around a pond and was in total shock when I viewed a cliff, an unbelievably perpendicular one. I looked up and found, to my astonishment, a man, as tiny as an insect, scaling the cliff! I had never sensed before nor after that time, the transcendency of such magnificent nature that intensely, and what Kant calls the “sublime,” with my whole body and soul. And now, at last, I think that experience, or rather “this” experience, which has continued to exist within me, is somehow, similar to an artistic enlightenment.

Art, meaning all art and, maybe, the artists themselves, comes on the ground, to our communities from a kind of eminence, existing far beyond. However, the sheer artistic accomplishment wants, indeed needs an appropriate recipient. He or she, who bears the responsibility as the recipient of art, must receive it properly, convey it to the community and, at the same time, store it in a special place. In this way, art finally becomes meaningful in existence. And, though it is a little too sudden, “he or she,” as I put it, is the very curator, and the “special place” is equivalent to the museum where it rests. In the post-modern chaos of contemporary society, which is becoming more and more complicated and grotesque day by day, while entirely losing its relevancy to philosophy and restraint, what kind of functions should museums and curators play? Perhaps, their “raison d'être” has already disappeared, hasn’t it? The important thing is to organize “events,” which are enjoyable for everyone, but not bothersome “exhibitions!” Of course, there might be various ways of approaching their intent. Meanwhile I think, because we are in the thick of our difficulties, where even the grounds for the value of the existence of museums could be questioned, we must go back to the basics, and the curators, liken to the priests in temples of beauty, must reconfirm their sublime mission.

長野県知事 阿部 守一

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Governor of Nagano Prefecture

Abe, Shuichi

I would like to express my hearty congratulations on this second “Shinbism” exhibition, held in succession to last year, where contemporary artists selected by the Shinshu Museum Network exhibit their works.

These “Shinbism” exhibitions are planned and organized with the aim to enhance the cultural power of Shinshu, by means of facilitating networking among museums in the prefecture through projects proposed by curators having various careers, from their respective regions, not only to entice a wealth of people to become familiar with the excellent works created by the contemporary artists involved with Nagano Prefecture.

The exhibition was materialized as the result of free discussions held repeatedly among curators actively working, on the basis of the cultural climate and traditions in their respective regions, and their sincere efforts to assist contemporary artists to exhibit their works. I’m sure, it will help us enhance our imagination, by stimulating our senses from different perspectives.

I’ve heard that this “Shinbism2” exhibition will be held concurrently at four venues throughout Nagano Prefecture, and a talk event is planned to be organized at “Ginza Nagano” located in Tokyo, as well. I expect the art and culture of Nagano Prefecture, cultivated from relationships with nature, its local history and cultural climate, will appeal to people nationwide, who avail themselves of this opportunity.

In this time, when our longevity has expanded to 100 years or more, it becomes even more important to establish a society where people can live in close contact with art and culture throughout their lives, in order to enrich their lives.

At this moment, the power of “social inclusion,” another function of art and culture, is necessary to realize a “Society That Leaves No One Behind,” noted by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs,) by promoting mutual understanding between others with due respect to the various senses toward values that they hold, taking advantage of opportunities to participate in art and cultural events.

From this year, we started a new comprehensive Total Five-year Plan under the title, the “Shiawase Shinshu Creation Plan 2.0” and the “Art and Culture Promotion Plan of Nagano Prefecture.” According to the plan, for the materialization of “Shinshu brimmed with creativity,” through the close coordination and cooperation of the many supporters including local residents, corporations, organizations and related municipalities, we will approach the promotion of a plethora of art and culture, the development of human resources needed, and the expansion of further exchanges between regions.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

一般財団法人長野県文化振興事業団 理事長 近藤 誠一

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Chief Director, Nagano Prefectural Agency for Cultural Promotion

Kondo, Seiichi

The Nagano Prefectural Government along with the Nagano Prefectural Agency for Cultural Promotion, a General Incorporated Foundation, set up the Nagano Prefectural Artistic Supervisory Team, where members are involved in the fields of the performing arts, music, fine arts and production design, in 2016, and who are active players at the front lines of their respective fields, have been working hard together for the revitalization of all cultural activities in Nagano Prefecture since then.

During the fiscal year of 2017, under the supervision of Mr. Motoe Kunio, the art director in charge of Fine Arts, the first “Shinbism” Exhibition was held, planned and organized by the curators from 20 public and private museums and other institutions in Nagano Prefecture, as a joint project with the purpose of introducing 20 artists who are actively involved in Nagano Prefecture, concurrently at four different venues representing each of the four blocks separately, which divide this broad Nagano Prefecture.

The artists who participated in the exhibition often visited their respective regions to find the best ways for their works to be exhibited, taking into good account the regional features and exhibition space in cooperation with the curator in charge. Also there were some artists who tried to produce their works together with the local people and children through workshops held especially for them. As the exhibition was held at convenient venues within the local regions, people who normally have only rare chances to visit museums were enticed to come and visit the exhibition. There were even those who managed to visit all four venues scattered throughout the prefecture.

“Substantial thickness and depth exist in the fine art of Nagano Prefecture. How can we have those living in the region recognize the attractiveness of the art world in Nagano Prefecture, so rich in the regional climate, tradition and its content? Further how can we transmit it nationwide?” The Shinbists, artists and curators, are seriously facing this question proposed by Mr. Motoe Kunio and trying to resolve it, marking this second exhibition to be held in Shinshu, during December, as winter swings cold, under the title of “Shinbism 2”, joined by each new member.

It would be our greatest pleasure if you could feel, utilizing your five senses to enjoy and see the colors, with which Shinbists endeavor to cover the white canvases, white as snowscapes and discover what kind of art they are trying to depict in the places of exhibition serving as vessels.

With all the museums in Nagano Prefecture that rank top among the number of museums nationwide, actively working together by deepening their relationships under the supervision of Artistic Supervisory Team, we would like to continue to tackle jointly, with Nagano Prefecture, to make this prefecture a model case among all prefectures in terms of the degree of happiness experienced among residents by the power of fulfillment exerted by culture and art. Furthermore, we endeavor to become the leading prefecture for revitalization of Japan through promotion of art and culture.

We appreciate your continued support and understanding.



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