Riusei Kishida (1891-1929) became aware of the works of artists referred to as Post-Impressionists, such as Van Gogh and Matisse, while studying at the Aoibashi Yoga Kenkyujo run by the Hakuba group led by Kuroda Seiki, and produced avant-garde oil paintings with intense colors and brush strokes as a way to create his own style of art.

Japanese modern art developed in conversation with Western modernism, but by not being at what was represented by Western commentators as the centre, therefore on the periphery, Japanese artists were often wrongly perceived as derivative and somewhat less relevant to their Western counterparts.

Helping to illuminate how Japan and its artists dealt with modernity and of what mechanisms, universal and local, we can attribute to Riusei the mode of negotiation between tradition and modernity at the birth of modern Japan. This exhibition helps explore how the traditional and modern approaches fed off of one other, how they were represented in the visual arts and literature, and how tradition, whether real or created and artistic production and political discourse, frame the art of late 19th and early 20th century Japan.

Definitely worth visiting and the exhibition runs until Sunday, October 20, 2019.