Message / Greetings

Brief Message from the Organizers of
the “Shinbism 5” Exhibition -- Artists Selected from
the Shinshu Museum Network

The “Shinshu Arts Council” is going to host its fifth art exhibition, “Shinbism 5,” 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.” At the same time, it carries the meanings of “new art,” “true art,” “accessible art,” and so on. We are endeavoring to extend our prefectural-wide support to the artists and provide a greater variety of rich information to all citizens in the prefecture. In order to connect citizens with artists along with their works, the curators’ role is important. For that, we would like to assist the curators in sharing their common awareness of the issues among them, and enhancing their abilities as well, while promoting strong networking among museums within the prefecture.
In Nagano Prefecture, we positioned the 2015th year as the “first year of cultural promotion,” and founded the Cultural Promotion Fund. The following year, we started the Nagano Prefectural Artistic Supervisory Team’s project. The project, which started from “breaking ground,” and then embarked on “sowing” the seeds of culture and art throughout the prefecture, continued for 6 years, including the delay caused by the spread of the coronavirus. Then in June 2022, our “Art Council” started its activities, carrying on the legacy of “Shinbism.” Now, we are aiming for sustainable regional development towards the future mainly in two domains: one is the local culture spun out of rich natural climate, and handed down in Shinshu/Nagano Prefecture over a long period of time. The other is the cultural and artistic activities fostered from the spirit of valuing learning. To achieve this goal, our Council established three missions: “raising the creativity and transmission power of the cultural and artistic activities throughout Nagano Prefecture,” “spreading the potential of cultural and artistic activities to all areas of society” and “nurturing an environment for sustainable progress of cultural and artistic activities within the prefecture.”
Promotion of the realization of creative communities by the local and prefectural residents’ initiative is vital for the sustainable development of regions. In this regard, in addition to holding the “Shinbism” exhibition in four venues in the prefecture, as another project for this year, we will advance a new project of “art appreciation through dialogues,” in which interactive exchanges between artists along with their works, and viewers, including children, take place in communities and at schools. While placing value on cooperation with the bearers connecting respective regions with culture and art, we will continue to spread information on the richness of Nagano Prefecture, not only within the prefecture, but also nationwide.
Lastly, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for everyone’s cooperation and support toward the materialization of this exhibition.

Representative of the Organizers,
Director of the Shinshu Arts Council

Tsumura, Takashi

阿部 守一


Governor of Nagano Prefecture

Abe, Shuichi

I would like to extend my greeting on the occasion of the “Shinbism 5” exhibition, where contemporary artists connected to Shinshu and selected by the Shinshu Museum Network exhibit their works.
“Shinbism” is an exhibition series organized by curators with various careers, working at museums and galleries in Nagano Prefecture. They have materialized this event through exchanges and discussions across their affiliations to introduce artists connected to Nagano.
This exhibition originated from an idea proposed by Motoe Kunio, the Art Director of Nagano Prefecture, who passed away in June 2019. He believed that due to Nagano's largest number of museums nationwide, with many having only one curator, the most effective way to foster a networkamong museums was to cultivate impartial relationships among curators in Nagano.
From the first exhibition in 2018 to the fourth one in 2021, which was the culmination of previous exhibitions, the “Shinbism” exhibitions were held in 14 venues in Nagano Prefecture and introduced 65 artists in total. The exhibition series focused on the various perspectives and works of contemporary art in Nagano Prefecture, created by artists ranging from up-and-coming talents to influential figures in the history of post-war contemporary art, leaving remarkable footprints on the art scenes in the prefecture.
The fourth exhibition marked a turning point and the fifth exhibition made a fresh start. I have heard that the “Shinbism 5” exhibition is organized by the curators of a working group who look back at their achievements and look ahead to future prospects. This time, the curators have selected works from newly chosen artists based on their contemporary art perspectives developed through previous exhibitions. The artworks will be displayed in four venues across the prefecture. It is my wish that this exhibition offers a broad and enjoyable experience of contemporary art to many people.
Another unique characteristic is the emphasis on appreciating the works through dialogues. In addition to the exhibition venues, elementary and junior high schools in the same villages, towns, and cities provide dedicated time in the morning during their reading period for students to appreciate art. This activity aims to offer opportunities for students to share their inspiring experiences and enhance their communication skills.
Furthermore, there is a scheduled training for the "facilitators of art appreciation through dialogues," targeting schoolteachers responsible for "morning art appreciation." I expect that this exhibition will provide opportunities for local residents, including children, to learn and encounter artists, their works and curators, thus fostering the expansion of learning through culture and art.
Based on the "Second Nagano Prefecture Promotion Plan of Culture and Art," the Nagano Prefectural Government will collaborate and promote exchanges between art museums and curators in Nagano and enhance the concept of "learning by using various art techniques."
I sincerely appreciate your continuous kind support and cooperation.

近藤 誠一


Chief Director,
Nagano Prefectural Agency for Cultural Promotion

Kondo, Seiichi

The corona pandemic clearly revealed that the times are accelerating towards major changes, such as climate change, information technology revolution, deterioration of international relations and division among societies. We need to have a positive attitude, when facing such changes and acquire the strength to survive vigorously. Empathy, meaning the power of understanding one another beyond one’s position, is the keyword here, and it is the power of culture and the arts that nurtures the empathy. The declaration of the “First Year of Cultural Promotion,” issued by Governor Abe in 2015, was as timely as if he somehow read the flow of the time.
Moreover, the Nagano Prefectural Artistic Supervisory Team’s projects (2016−2021), which are embodiments of the governor’s inspiration, fulfilled their role as first runner within various constraints, by making citizens in the prefecture feel the potentiality of culture and the arts, and rediscover the local charm.
In particular, “Shinbism” born under the initiative of the late Mr. Kunio Motoe, who provided guidance as the Art Director of Nagano Prefecture, in the field of fine arts, for three years, and passed away suddenly in June 2019, shows a leading example as an event symbolizing and embodying the philosophy of these projects. Under the supervision of Director Motoe, “Shinbism” was implemented along with ingenious planning by the artists connected to Nagano Prefecture and the curators, in cooperation with the local people, including citizens and students.
In these circumstances, the “Shinshu Arts Council” has started as second runner, in 2022. From now on, based on the legacy of the late Director and others, we are moving on to the second stage of developing human resources leading the promotion of culture and the arts in the prefecture by themselves. Fostering human resources takes 20 to 30 years. Investment for the sake of fostering human resources must be implemented now! Otherwise, we will miss our chance. To achieve that goal, it seems to be a new plan, but artists and government officials work together by making full use of everything at their disposal to establish a finely-grained alignment with local people. In order to create conditions where everybody in the prefecture can enjoy culture and the arts as a part of their daily lives. When empathy among people is increased in this way, it will function as a power to unite society that tends to be divided easily by the logic of the organizational defense in involved political or economic concerns. Not dividing the opponent into an enemy or ally, but making a system to ally ourselves with others regarded as sources to empower variety, is necessary to solve the long-term challenges we face and, as a result, that means to respond to the passion of the late Director, and the feelings of the local people as well. I think that is the exact way to be connected with the plan advocated by Governor Abe, “making Nagano Prefecture energetic through the power of culture and the arts.”
I expect that all “shinbists,” consisting of the curators belonging to the Shinshu Museum Network, will propagate culture and the arts in their respective local areas, taking the lead on this second stage as well, and conceive of the best system to develop their activities by themselves.
I would like to, again, express my deepest regards to those that worked hard for the materialization of this “Shinbism” event.

松本 透


Advisor for Shinbism Exhibition, Director of Nagano Prefectural Agency for Cultural Promotion,
Director of Nagano Prefectural Art Museum

Matsumoto, Tohru

It was in November 2016 that the working group was formed aiming at holding a contemporary art exhibition by a network of voluntary curators throughout the prefecture, and in April 2017 that the name of the exhibition was decided to be “Shinbism.” Altogether, four exhibitions planned at that time, were completed in 2021. This time, the fifth exhibition will open thanks to the enthusiasm and effort of those concerned, including the shinbists.
In my opinion, it was a turning point for “Shinbism,” which had held two exhibitions focusing on rather young artists, that we decided to include deceased artists in the third and fourth exhibitions. Kunio Motoe, the Art Director of Nagano Prefecture, who literally led everything concerning “Shinbism” from a broad perspective, including the selection of the exhibitors for the fourth exhibition, passed away suddenly without having viewed the third exhibition. There’s more to the story. Recently, “Shinbism − Our Story of the Artists Selected from the Shinshu Museum Network” was published by The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun in March 2022, which could be seen as documentation of the spirit of Shinbism, rather than an ordinary exhibition record book. Surprisingly, this publication was done under Director Motoe’s supervision during his lifetime. However, even if this publication was Director Motoe’s parting gift, the editors of the book consisted of the same members of the current editorial team of “Shinbism,” including the shinbists. This record book, elaborately including current live voices of not only the artists and shinbists, but also the specialists and visitors who had kept an eye on this project, as well as a number of self-evaluation lists, finally became particularly future-oriented, rather than retrospective.
By the way, the project of the “Shinbism” exhibition is implemented in the following way: first, the artists are selected according to the recommendations by all “shinbists.” Then, teams, consisting of curators in charge of each artist, that always include veterans among younger curators, are formed. Each team extends generous support to the artists in their charge. Lastly, exhibition halls are assigned to respective teams, and the artists are sorted into halls. As for the actual work of display, each team in charge does it collectively in each hall. This time, when I looked at the recommendation sheets for respective artists, filled out by curators, what surprised me again was that the curators had envisioned suitable sites for the artists as early as the time of their recommendation, even though cases in which the actual exhibition halls coincide with the previously imagined ones, are rather rare. That is only an example though. This daring way, which could be seen as “impractical” must be a kind of fast track with no other example other than the “Shinbism” exhibitions, considering that creating networks towards exhibitions introducing contemporary art where an affinity with the sites seems to be extremely important.
The fifth “Shinbism” exhibition will be held in four venues in relay from July of this year. The average age of the artists, including several veterans, will be rather close to that of the first and second “Shinbism” exhibitions. I am looking forward to the newborn “Shinbism” exhibition implemented by the “teammotoe2016” with their gaze firmly fastened at their origin.