Rut Bryk: Touch of a Butterfly

Saturday, April 27 – Sunday, June 16

Mondays (except April 29, May 6, and June 10) and on Tuesday, May 7
[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): 1,100 yen, high school and university students (at the door): 900 yen
Adults (advance ticket): 900 yen, high school and university students (advance ticket): 700 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=35471),E Plus,CN Playguide,and
Seven Ticket
* Advance tickets are on sale from February 16 to April 26, 2019.
* Advance tickets are on sale at the Tokyo Station Gallery reception desk until April 14, on days when the venue is open.

[Organized by]
Tokyo Station Gallery (East Japan Railway Culture Foundation)
[With the support of]
Embassy of Finland, The Finnish Institute in Japan
[Coordinated by]
Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation, Blue Sheep
[Official site]

Flyer PDF

 Rut Bryk is a representative artist of Finland and Scandinavia. For about 50 years, she was active as an in-house artist of the well-known ceramics brand Arabia, and she created a diverse range of work, from the charming ceramic tiles of her early years to the powerful ceramic mosaic wall pieces (composed of large modules) that she produced later in life. A great many people continue to be fascinated by the brilliance of her profoundly elegant glazes and the exquisite figures and patterns based on her distinctive perception of nature.

 Featuring about 200 pieces (ceramics, textiles, etc.), this is the first extensive exhibition in Japan of her varied work. Viewing these pieces in person, the visitors will undoubtedly be spurred to a number of new discoveries by such things as the mystery of the dramatic change of styles between her early and late works and the sense of movement created by fine irregularities produced with authoritative traditional techniques. We are planning the kind of dynamic exhibition configuration associated with Bryk, who was very aware of the spatial effects of her works. The year 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Bryk’s death, and the 100th anniversary of Japan-Finland diplomatic relations arrives in the spring. You can expect this exhibition to revise the “cheerful and cute” impression that people in Japan tend to have of Finland and Scandinavia.

◆Introducing a major artist little-known in Japan

While Bryk is a prominent artist who is well-loved among the people of Finland, until now there has not been an opportunity to extensively present her work in Japan. This exhibition provides an excellent chance to share Bryk’s sensibility and her works in many genres, centered on one-of-a-kind relief pieces.

◆Updating the usual image of Finland and Scandinavia

The dramatic style change between Bryk’s early and late periods is fascinating, but, beyond that, the romantic and somehow spiritual worldview embodied in Bryk’s innocent sensibility should revise the “cheerful and cute” image that people in Japan have associated with Finland up to now.

◆Creation rooted in the natural world, a message for the future of craftsmanship

The source of Bryk’s inspiration was the natural world of Finland, which has its own distinctive culture and outlook on life. Staying true to the kind of craftsmanship that avoids mass production and uses traditional skills and handwork, there is something in Bryk’s works that is also reminiscent of Japanese sensibilities.

Rut Bryk (1916-1999)
From 1942 onward, Bryk was active as an artist belonging to the art department of the Arabia ceramics company. Applying woodcut printing techniques, she developed her own original techniques for glazes and molds, and in 1951 she won the Grand Prix at the Milan Triennial. From the 1960s onward, her focus shifted to abstract three-dimensional works combining tile pieces, and she created large-scale installations in city halls, banks, the president’s official residence, etc.