Thinking 21st century art in the world from Niigata
Echigo-Tsumari Art Field - Official Web Magazine

Staff / From behind the scene of Echigo-Tsumari

About "buying" art

23 November 2020

Is there any artworks available for purchase?

We feel that we increasingly receive a question asking “is there any artworks available for purchase?” Most of those who ask this question are ordinary people in their 30s and 40s working in a company, not an art collector nor a person in the management position in a company. We believe that an option of buying artworks you love has been gradually getting popular as online platforms for artworks increase.

An art looks completely different when you see it with an intention to “buy”. It is said that you will develop “an eye to see art” if you ask yourself whether you can admire the artwork without getting tired of it and seriously engage with the artwork while contemplating to purchase it.

While you may think ETAT only has large-scale installation works, we do have smaller artworks that can be displayed at home in various prices available for you to purchase. One of the popular works amogst those are by an iconic artist of ETAT, Tashima Seizo (picture book artist).

"Kasegu" by Tashima Seizo (AD on The Nikkei for Itochu Cooperation / Granted the grand prize of the 66th Nikkei Advertising Awards 2017) Photo by NAKAMURA Osamu

Charm of TASHIMA Seizo, the picture book artists

TASHIMA Seizo born in 1940 in Sakae-city, Osaka, as one of the twin brothers with Yukihiko who is also a picture book artist. He says that he still recalls the sensation of a living creature moving in your hand from his time when he lived in Kochi Prefecture from 6 to 19 year-old, catching small fish in a little stream. He just published a new picture book called “Tsukamaeta (Caught it!)” (Kaiseisha) in the autumn of 2020. The story of the book is based upon the original experience from his boyhood and was introduced in the TV program called featured Tashima Seizo on Nichiyo Bijutsukan on NHK.

“Tsukamaeta” a new picture book

The picture book artist, Tashima Seizo is known for his bold brushstrokes to  capture the dynamism of life in his works including “Chikarataro”, “Shibaten”, “Fukumanbuku” and “Tobe batta”. He invested in lots of energy into this newly published work “Tsukamaeta”, highlighting the original and unforgettable experience of his boyhood. One fine summer day, a boy (“I”) found a big fish in the shallow part of the river, tried to get closer but slipped and went down to water. As his fingers desparately spread out under water and reached the fish, he used all his might to catch it-.(quote from Kaiseisha official website)

"Tsukamaeta" by Tashima Seizo (a study for painitng) Photo by NAKAMURA Osamu

Tashima moved to Hinode-area (currently known as Hinode town), Tokyo in 1969, looked after goats and bantams while contineud to create artworks. He came to know that Hinodecho was one of the candidate sites for large-scale garbage dumping site in 1989 and initiated a protest with his wife. He was inspired as he continued the protest in the forest when he fest strong connections to plants and small living creatures. After that he was dignosed as gastric cancer and moved to Izukogen (Ito-city, Shizuoka Prefecture) for relocation therapy after the surgery. When he was walking in the forest in order to regain stamina after the operation in 1997 and he stopped for a moment as he felt that a big Neolitsea sericea called him. He published a picture book “Gao” which he created out of tree nuts from the Neolitsea serices in the following autumn. Since then he has continued to create artworks using tree nuts and drift woods whiel publishing picture books. 

In 2009, he transformed the entire closed school in the Hachi village into an artwork for the 4th iteration of ETAT2009 as he created “Museum of Picture Book Art” by using drift woods and tree nuts to form “walk-in-picturebook”. Since then, Tashima keeps his foot in both Izu and the Hachi village which has contributed to increase the charm of the museum, turn it into one of the iconic works of ETAT attracting people from within the village as well as outside of Niigata predecture.

田島征三「鉢&田島征三 絵本と木の実の美術館」(2009年)Photo by MIYAMOTO Takenori + SENO Hiromi

A person who has purchased the work at the exhibition talked to us as follows:

I feel that an artworks speaks on behalf of the artist. When such seriousness is revealed, it touches the heart of viewers. It is such a pleasure to think deeply, to be surprised by a new emotion within yourself or to set your feeling free and revisit it.

However, I had never thought of “buying” such artwork nor I thought I would be able to afford. It was great to be introduced to “the opportunity to purchase” works this time.

The new picture book, “Tsukamaeta” is a memory of Tashima Seizo when he was a young child. What is important is to experience with your hands about how vulnerable and robut at the same time a life can be. Your life begins as you appreciated it. He wishes to communicate that to the little people and those who look after them.

I bought this work in order to receive his message.

(Person working in a company in 50s)

A study of "Tsukamaeta" by Tashima Seizo / Photo by NAKAMURA Osamu

"Fushigi no kehai" - created as a part of live painting with Miroko Machiko (May 2017)

Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art KINARE is currently presenting the special exhibition, “TASHIMA Seizo collection gallery – The Story of the Walk-in-Palette” where you can view and purchase Tashima’s works from ones made in 1970s to the latest drawn for the exhibition. The duration of the exhibition has been extended due to the popular demand. There are many artworks reasonably priced within a few ten thousands yen which have been purchased as pecial gift for home and loved ones. We invite you to visit us to see art from the perspective of “buying” on this occasion.

Special exhibition: "TASHIMA Seizo collection gallery - The Story of the Walk-in-Palette" Photo by NAKAMURA Osamu

Tashima Seizo, Photo by AKIMOTO Shigeru


“Tashima Seizo Collection Gallery – A story of Walk-in-Palette”

【Duration】Till Sundady 6 December 2020 Opening hours from 10:00 to 17:00 (last entry by 16:30) Closed on Wednesdays
【Venue】Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, KINARE (Honcho 6, Tokamachi-city, Niigata)
【Admission】Adult JPY800 / Child age between 7 and 15 JPY400
※ Price includes access to the permanent collections
※ Those who come to both “KINARE” and “Museum of Picturebook Art” receive discount on the admission for JPY200 for adult and JPY100 for child. (Please present the respective ticket at the reception)
≫Click here for details

Born in Osaka in 1940. Spent his boyhood in Kochi Prefecture. Opened “Museum of Picture Book Art” in 2009 as an artwork for ETAT2009. Received many awards including the BIB Golden Apple prize for “Chikarataro” in 1969, Kodansha Shuppan Bunkasho, Shogakkan Kaigasho, Ehon Nippon Shosho, Iwaya Sazanami Bungeisho. He was shortlited for The Hans Christian Andersen Awards in 2020.

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