Column
Influence from overseas (Appearance of new colors /deformation style in his art)
Until beginning of Showa period, Insho focused on Buddhist paintings as well as Kacho-ga (paintings of flowers and birds) and landscape paintings using delicate brush strokes. He painted the so-called traditional Japanese paintings and was very successful. However, approximately 10 years after the war was a new turning point for Insho's art and his painting style drastically changed.

Thus far, Insho, who had exclusively focused on classical themes began to draw attention to current events. His new painting "Eight Hours" that was exhibited in the 9th Tokyusha Exhibition in 1951 had a main theme focusing on the customs of modern society. His works that were painted after the war symbolize the injustice of modern society. In addition, his composition gradually changed from a traditional Japanese art style strokes to a more color-dominant one. On top of that, he also began to incorporate a western style of expression such as deformation in his art.
Since the defeat, the trend of the post-war Japan was that the traditional things were being gradually rejected. Insho was quick to eliminate the conventional elements of Japanese style paintings in his works and therefore questioned the possibilities of traditional Japanese art. Even with the society rapidly changing, a sudden transformation in the themes and style of Insho's work was a big surprise to the people.

"Eight Hours" 1951

1952 Madrid
In 1952, Insho at the age of 61 went to Europe for the first time after the war as if to reconfirm his new path as an artist. He took half a year to travel around mainly Paris in France but also Italy, Spain, West Germany and Switzerland.
When travelling around Europe he actively sketched and drew oil paintings of the sceneries that he had observed. Once Insho came back to Japan he held an exhibition of the sketches that he drew during his stay in Europe. All the materials that he gathered in Western Europe were actively used in his works after he came back to Japan, such as "Metro" which was exhibited in the 10th Tokyusha Exhibition in 1953 and "Suspicion", staged at a fortune telling shelter indicating the suspicion of life which was exhibited in the 10th Japan Fine Arts Exhibition.

"Marseille" 1953

"Metro" 1953
Insho's works after he went to Europe just like his previous works had customs as a theme while also having allegorical elements that expressed society. However his use of colors was groundbreaking for Japan and the simplified style: deformation, which became his main way of expression signify that Insho had brought Japanese art towards a new direction after his studies in Europe.

Insho, a strong believer in religious faith, aside from focusing solely on Buddhism also created many art works that had Christianity as a theme. His strong feelings towards expressing this theme in Japanese art can be seen through his vigorous studies of this complex matter in Western art.

"Beginning and Ending of Destiny (Pieta, Annunciation)" 1954
The use of bright colors that can be seen in "Metro" and "Suspicion" was frequently observed in his later abstract works. This period of drastic change in his style and theme was a sign of his transformation as an artist.


4.Path towards the new composition / plan for a museum (Transition to abstract expression and his last years)

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