Yoshimura Yoshio: Beyond Hyper-realism

Friday, November 23, 2018 – Sunday, January 20, 2019

Mondays (except December 24 and January 14) and on Tuesday, December 25 and from Saturday, December 29 to Tuesday, January 1
[Opening Hours]
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
*Fridays: Until 8:00 p.m.
*Last admission 30 minutes before closing time
[Admission Fee]
Adults (at the door): 900 yen,
high school and university students (at the door): 700 yen
Adults (advance ticket): 700 yen,
high school and university students (advance ticket): 500 yen
*Junior high school students and younger: Free.
*For groups of 20 or more, admission fees are 800 yen for adults and 600 yen for high school and university students.
*Persons with a disability certificate or similar receive a 100 yen discount on tickets purchased at the door, and one accompanying helper is admitted free.

Tickets can be purchased from:
Tokyo Station Gallery (Up until 30 minutes before the gallery closes)
Lawson Ticket (L-Code 31616), E Plus, CN Playguide, and Seven Ticket
*Advance tickets are on sale from September 22 to November 22, 2018.
*Advance tickets are on sale at the Tokyo Station Gallery reception desk until November 11, on days when the gallery is open.
[Organized by]
Tokyo Station Gallery (East Japan Railway Culture Foundation), The Mainichi Newspapers
[Coordinated by]

Flyer PDF

Hyper-realism? Or maybe something else?

Self-portraits drawn in pencil on sheets of newspaper. A closer look shows that in fact those sheets of newspaper themselves have been drawn in pencil, letter by letter! The “Newspaper and Self-portrait” series is practically synonymous with Yoshimura Yoshio. Precise depictions are a constant with Yoshimura, even in works that take flowers or landscapes as their theme. At first glance it may seem like virtuoso photorealism that seeks to capture its subject completely, but in fact Yoshimura's works were not drawn simply through intense scrutiny of their subject. What is the creative secret that transcends hyper-realism? Please come and discover it here yourself.

The wire netting goes on and on....

Can this be called a drawing? A work that meticulously depicts just a vast expanse of wire netting. There are no variations in it, not a broken link or cobweb to be seen. The wire netting just goes on and on. And it is 17 meters long! Why 17 meters? Actually, the wall of the art gallery where this work was unveiled was 17 meters long. The work would probably have been even longer if the venue had been bigger. The self-portrait series includes several sets of 365 drawings. If asked why 365, Yoshimura would probably have answered that it was handy to group them into a year. A major charm of Yoshimura's works is that we do not really know whether there is any meaning to their mysterious continuance.

A prodigy who reappeared on the contemporary art scene in 2007 at the age of 57

Yoshimura Yoshio was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1950. His works were shown many times at exhibitions in the woodblock print field both in Japan and overseas, and he was highly regarded, with several museums adding his works to their collections. However, he did not really break through and was certainly not a particularly well-known artist. From the 1990s onwards he remained steadily active, with a focus on the Yamaguchi Prefectural Art Exhibitions and solo exhibitions at art galleries. All that changed in 2007, when Yoshimura was 57. The works he showed in Roppongi Crossing 2007: Future Beats in Japanese Contemporary Art, an exhibition held in Mori Art Museum that year, created a tremendous buzz. After that he exhibited at museums throughout Japan, and a particularly large number of visitors thronged to his solo exhibition at Yamaguchi Prefectural Art Museum. Yoshimura continued to make steady advances as a late bloomer until his sudden death in 2013.

A comprehensive introduction to Yoshimura Yoshio

Over 62 works and 600 items are organized into three sections to provide a comprehensive view of Yoshimura Yoshio, a unique figure in the world of contemporary art. The scenes from everyday life depicted in monotone drawings and prints from his early period; the various flowers that he drew in colored pencil in his late period; and the self-portraits that he continued to draw throughout his life. Yoshimura's amazing works took a tremendous amount of time to create. They go beyond realism and virtuosity to repeatedly question what it means to draw and depict. This exhibition is the first solo Yoshimura Yoshio exhibition to be held outside of the Chugoku region and Shikoku region.