Hako Irie/Kagaku Murakami/Yohei Watanabe
From University Art Museum, Kyoto City University of Arts Collection Exhibition, 2020
The University Art Museum features a collection of work by alumni from the Meiji period (1868–1912) to the present. Tracing these artworks in chronological order reveals insights about how artistic expression has shifted with the times. Of particular note among the works in the early period of the collection, we can detect that animals became a common choice of subject following the opening of what is now Kyoto City Zoo in 1903, and the distinct influence of Western-style painting learned from Seiho Takeuchi and other teachers at the university at the time that they had acquired from trips to Europe. The exhibition considered what these “encounters” provided for the artists as well as how they were received in the graduation works of three painters: Hako Irie (1887–1948), Yohei Watanabe (1889–1912), and Kagaku Murakami (1888–1939).