20th anniversary exhibition of Takasaki Museum of Art
Pavel Trnka
2012.2.8 - 3.30

In the 20th anniversary exhibition of Takasaki Museum of Art, the works by Pavel Trnka, a Czech glass artist whose works we deal with, were exhibited.

Pavel Trnka

Venue: Takasaki Museum of Art
Address: Yashimacho 110-27, Takasaki, Gunma 370-0849 Japan
Hours Open: 10:00 - 18:00 ※ Open until 20:00 only on Friday / Closed on Monday, the next day of Holiday.
TEL:027-324-6125 FAX:027-324-6126
Term: February 8 [Wed.] to March 30 [Fri.], 2012
Official Website:

Debra Force Fine Art, Inc.
Ethnos/Techne: Theodoros Stamos and Michael Michaeledes
2012.2.2 - 3.23

An exhibition “Ethnos/Techne: Theodoros Stamos and Michael Michaeledes” was held at Debra Force Fine Art, Inc. in New York.

ethnos theodoros stamos michael michaeledes art exhibition

HIRO GALLERY held an exhibition of Theodoros Stamos in 1996.

HIRO GALLERY / Theodoros Stamos Exhibition in 1996

Organic expression that could be found in the works by stamos is full of archaic vitality. Being mysterious and strong, it makes us feel the ethnic influence as a Greek.

Infinity Field Jerusalem Series
acrylic on canvas / 157.5×147.3cm / 1983

Theodoros Stamos

Venue: Debra Force Fine Art, Inc. in New York, USA
Term: February 2 [Thu.] - March 23 [Fri.], 2012
Official Website:

David Bill, Jacob Bill, Hans Hinterreiter Exhibition
Kunst- und KulturZentrum Littau-Luzern, Switzerland
2012.1.13 - 3.4

An exhibition of Hans Hinterreiter(1902-1989) was held at Kunst- und KulturZentrum Littau-Luzern, Switzerland.

In 1993, HIRO GALLERY held the first exhibition of Hinterreiter in Japan.


Jacob Bill and David Bill, whose works were also displayed in this exhibition, are the direct descendants of Max Bill, an artist who was in close relationship with Hinterreiter.

Max Bill(left), Mrs. Hinterreiter and Hans Hinterreiter(Center, RIght)
September 1985 at Schlegl Gallery, Zurich

Hinterreiter spent most of his life in Ibiza island, Spain. He devoted himself to cultivation, playing music and making art works. He believes beauty of shape was resident in the line. By combining the geometrically defined lines, Hinterreiter strictly created a linear repertoire of 6,000 elementary forms. He integrated the basic forms and the number of the compositions rapidly increased into millions. Including the choice of colors, he carefully thought over the combination. Being opposite of the accidental one, His mathematical method of making art works affected the computer art in a later period.

Hans Hinterreiter

Venue: Kunst- und KulturZentrum Littau-Luzern, Switzerland
Term: January 13 [Fri.] to March 4 [Sun.] in 2012.

Official Website of Kunst- und KulturZentrum Littau-Luzern

Sakima Art Museum
The World of Chimei Hamada
2011.8.10 - 9.26

From August 10 to September 26, an exhibition “The World of Chimei Hamada” was held at the Sakima Art Museum, Okinawa. Thank you for your coming to the exhibition.

Venue: Sakima Art Museum
Address: Uehara 358, Ginowan, Okinawa 901-2204 Japan
Hours open: 9:30 - 17:00  ※Closed on Tuesday
TEL 098-893-5737  FAX 098-893-6948
Official Website:

Comune di Vinci “La Chiesa di Santa Croce”
Mostra Cecco Bonanotte 1970-2010
2011.6.18 - 11.6

Cecco Bonanotte made sculptures for Santa Croce Church in Vinci village, Tuscany region, Italy. For commemorating the accomplishment, the opening ceremony was held on 18 June.

Vinci Village is well known as the hometown of Leonardo da Vinci, and the historic baptistery Leonardo was baptized in is still placed in the church. Bonanotte produced the works that surround the historic baptistery and the round sculptures that decorates the ceiling dome.

Leaflet [Italian]

Leaflet [English]

To celebrate it, “Cecco Bonanotte Exhibition 1970-2010” is being held at Leonardo Museum near the church until 6 November. When you have chance to go to Italy, please go and enjoy the exhibition.

「Cecco Bonanotte Exhibition 1970-2010」
Venue: Leonardo Museum (Conti Guidi Castle), Vinci Village, Tuscany Region, Italy
Term: 18 June - 6 November [Open daily]
Hours Open: 9:30 - 19:00

Website of the exhibition

Padiglione Italia nel mondo
Biennale di Venezia 2011

“Padiglione Italia nel mondo Biennale di Venezia 2011” was held at Exhibition Hall of Italian Cultural Institute in Kudanshita, Tokyo. ≪Confrontation≫ by Cecco Bonanotte was being installed at the entrance of the venue.

Entrance of the Italian Cultural Institute

Venue: Exhibition Hall of Italian Cultural Institute of Tokyo ※Map
Term: May 25 [Wed] - July 8 [Fri] in 2011 ※Closed on Sunday
Hours open: 11:00 ? 18:00
Admission: Free
Organized by: Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Italian Ministry of cultural assets and activity; Venezia Biennale; Italian Cultural Institute of Tokyo
Tel: 03-3264-6011 ext. 14, 20

Padiglione Italia nel mondo
Biennale di Venezia 2011
2011.5.25 - 7.8

From May 25 [Wed] to July 8 [Fri] in 2011, “Padiglione Italia nel mondo Biennale di Venezia 2011” was held at Exhibition Hall of Italian Cultural Institute in Kudanshita, Tokyo.

Events Page of Italian Cultural Institute of Tokyo

This exhibition was organized by Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Italian Ministry of cultural assets and activity for Italian contemporary artists, being part of the 54th edition of the International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale.

Cecco Bonanotte
Matteo Ceccarini
Claudio Colucci
Marco Foltran
Oyama Enrico Isamu Letter
Loic Sturani

CECCO BONANOTTE’s work, “Confrontation” in 1993, 3.2 meters high is being installed at the entrance of the Italian Cultural Institute. It’s the one transported from Italy.

bronze / 316×120×100cm / 1993

These artists were selected by a committee chaired by the commissioner of the Italian Pavilion, Prof. Vittorio Sgarbi. Scenery of this exhibition was open to public in the Italian Pavilion of Venice Biennale, held from June to November and also on the official website.

Works and Biography of CECCO BONANOTTE

Please come and enjoy the exhibition.

Venue: Exhibition Hall of Italian Cultural Institute of Tokyo
Term: May 25 [Wed] - July 8 [Fri] in 2011 ※Closed on Sunday
Hours open: 11:00 - 18:00
Admission: Free
Organized by: Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Italian Ministry of cultural assets and activity; Venezia Biennale; Italian Cultural Institute of Tokyo
Tel: 03-3264-6011 ext. 14, 20

Nerima Art Museum 「PLATFORM2011」
2011.4.16 - 5.29

Nerima Art Museum held an exhibition, “PLATFORM2011 / Ryo HAMADA, Kehei KOBAYASHI, Daisuke SAMAJIMA.”

Nerima Art Museum

Flat Ball 2006 / φ17cm / acrylic on plastic / 2006

Ordinary scenes that surround human are packed in his work, “Flat Ball.” The motifs of the work are very common sceneries. But depicting the every direction, the works generate certain extraordinariness.

Thank you for coming the exhibition.

Venue: Nerima Art Museum
Term: April 16 [Sat] ? May 29 [Sun], 2011
Closed: Monday
Hours Open: 10:00 - 18:00(Admission ends at 17:30)
Admission Fees: Adults - 500 yen, College and high school students, 65 to 74 years old - 300yen, Children under junior high school and seniors over the age of 75 admitted free of charge.(for other discounts, call the number below)
Tel: 03-3577-1821

Consecrate Ceremony on March 6, 2011
Cecco Bonanotte

The Consecrate Ceremony of the Cathedral in SACRA FAMIGLIA (OSAKA UMEDA CATHOLIC CHURCH) was held at Umeda Ward in Osaka, March 6. The works in the church were produced by Cecco Bonaotte, and the design of the church was done by his son, Pier Paolo Maria Bonanotte.

This church was planned by 5 churches in umeda area, Osaka. It is a four-story complex facility, produces an impressive space with the fusion of tradition and modernity. In other stories of the building, there are the satellite campus of Sophia University, the bookstore of Sanpaolo, which deals with the books of Catholic and so on.

Utilizing the natural light, the pure white church marvelously brings out the grace and lightness of the bronze sculpture by Bonanotte.

Address: Toyosaki 3-12-8, Kita Ward, Osaka City, Osaka 〒531-0072
Phone: +81-6-6225-8871
Access: 2 minutes on foot from No.4 Exit of Nakatsu St., Midosuji Line
4 minutes on foot from Chayamachi Exit of Umeda St., Hankyu Line
10 minutes on foot from Midosuji-kita Exit of Osaka St., JR Line [no parking lot]

Mori Gallery “The World of Hamada Chimei”
2011.3.22 - 4.10

“The World of Hamada Chimei” was held at the Mori Gallery in Himeji, Hyogo prefecture.

Hamada Chimei

Mori Gallery is a historical gallery, which marks its 37th anniversary in 2011.

Mainly from the masterpieces of modern Japanese art including the works by Rei Kamoi, Mori Gallery holds unique exhibitions continuously.

Poet / bronze / 31.3×12.3×14.0cm / 1999

Thank you for coming the exhition.

Venue: Mori Gallery
Address: Siroganemachi 96, Himeji City, Hyogo 〒670-0902
Phone: +81-79-281-8377
Term: March 22 [Tue.] - April 10 [Sun.] 〈Everyday open during exhibition〉
Hours Open: 10:00 - 18:00 【Admission Free】

"The open mind of Lafcadio Hearn"
Introduced on the Nov. 5th issue of The Japan Times

The exhibition, “Art Exhibition: THE OPEN MIND OF LAFCADIO HEARN - HOMAGE TO LAFCADIO HEARN -” in Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture was introduced on the art column of the Nov. 5th issue of The Japan Times. It is an interesting article including from the details about the realization of this exhibition, to some comments on the exhibited works. It’s also appeared in the website of The Japan Times below.

“A journey inside the mind of Lafcadio Hearn”
The Japan Times, 5th Novemver, 2010

From HIRO GALLERY, Shoko Imano's work was exhibited. Thank you for coming the exhition.


about Shoko Imano

Feature article of Yakumo Koizumi
Morning paper of Nikkei Shimbun on October 16 [Sat.]

"The open mind of Lafcadio Hearn" was held at Matsue Castle and Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum in Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture. HIRO GALLERY exhibited Shoko Imano's work in this exhibition.

Matsue Castle

Shoko Imano "Shirt"

2010 marked 160th anniversary of his birth and 120th of his arrival in Japan so he got a lot of attention. Morning paper of Nikkei Shimbun on October 16 [Sat.] featured his accomplishments and the overview of this exhibition. Please check it out.

Art Exhibition
2010.10.10 - 11.14

From October 10 [Sun.] to November 14 [Sun.] “Art Exhibition / THE OPEN MIND OF LAFCADIO HEARN / HOMAGE TO LAFCADIO HEARN” was held. From HIRO GALLERY, Shoko Imano’s work was exhibited.

Web page of 120th anniversary of Lafcadio Hearn’s Arrival in Japan

Born in Greece, traveling all over the world, Yakumo Koizumi (Lafcadio Hearn) eventually reached Japan and settled here. He is a well-known writer and teacher in Japan. To pay homage to his unchained spirit, about 60 international and domestic artists' works were exhibited in Matsue Castle, Karakoro Art Studio and Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum.

Matsue Castle

Marking its 400th anniversary in 2011, Matsue Castle has a long history. This exhibition was a unique one using 3rd and 4th floor of the keep.


Shoko Imano consistently inquires into the expression of “border.” He stayed in Rome, Italy, at the Coming Artists Overseas Study Program of Cultural Affairs Agency for one year from 2008 to 2009. His oil painting immersed in the bathtub got a lot of attention in ART OSAKA 2010. In this exhibition, he exhibited a work inspired by the style of Yakumo Koizumi, who lived over various borders at that time. Below is the comment by the artist.

I presented Lafcadio Hearn's lifestyle, which spans the differences between countries, cultures and races, as well as the tracks of physical and spiritual comings and goings in each domain, using a shirt as the material, together with my concept, "domain of border."

Shirt / 97.0 × 145.5 cm / oil on canvas / 2010

Thank you for coming the exhibition.



Donjon of Matsue Castle: 8:30-17:00 (last admission 16:30)
Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum: 8:30-17:00 (last admission 16:40)
Karakoro Art Studio: 9:30-18:00 (last admission 17:30)
*Opens at 14:00 on 10th October.
*Closing time will be 21:00 (last admission 20:30) on the 10th, 11th, 16th and 17th of October, when there will be Matsue Suitoro Festival.

Admission Fees

Donjon of Matsue Castle: adult \550 (foreigners \280)
Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum: adult \300 (foreigners \140)
Karakoro Art Studio: Free

Ariake Museum of Art 30th anniversary memorial exhibition
Osuke Shimazaki Exhibition -Persistence and Liberation on the Sepia-
2010.9.10 - 10.11

Marking its 30th anniversary, Ariake Museum of Art held a special exhibition “Osuke Shimazaki Exhibition -Persistence and Liberation on the Sepia-.” Details are on the linked page below.

Ariake Museum of Art - Osuke Shimazaki Exhibition

The World of HAMADA Chimei
The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama
2010.7.10 - 9.5

An exhibition “The World of HAMADA Chimei -Elegy and Humor in Prints and Sculpture-“ was held at The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama from July 10th [sat] to September 5th [sun], 2010.

It was introduced in various media including Asahi Simbun, NHK, and so on. For details, please visit the page below.

To the articles about “The World of HAMADA Chimei”

Irritating (A)
etching, aquatint / 36.3×24.7cm / 1974

Chimei Hamada, who is 92 years old now, still keeps making new works vigorously.

330 works in total were exhibited including 173 prints, 73 sculptures, 4 oil paintings and about 80 pieces of dessin, sketch and data from the Elegy for a New Conscript series, in which he vividly expressed the tragic experience of war, to works satirizing modern society with his special humor.

This was a large retrospective including the presentation of new works.

No One Knows
bronze / 25.7×29.2×15.0cm / 1992

Thank you for coming and enjoying the exhibition.

The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama

Details of Chimei Hamada

“The World of HAMADA Chimei -Elegy and Humor in Prints and Sculpture-“

Venue:  The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama
Term:   July 10th [sat] to September 5th [sun]
Time:   10:00 - 17:00
[Closed on Mondays(open on July 19th), July 20th]

To the Special Page

Statue of Matteo Ricci / Maquette presentation ceremony
Cecco Bonanotte

The maquette of the statue of Matteo Ricci, the monument Cecco Bonanotte is at work on, was presented to the Pope May 30th, 2010.

Matteo Ricci was a Christian missionary to China, as Francisco de Xavier to Japan. He brought in not only Christianity but also a world map that hadn’t existed in China until then, and it made a major impact on the perspective of the world of Chinese people. The map was also imported to Japan that was in the period of national isolation, and gave Japanese people a shock too. It was also the first and memorable world map for Japan.

In celebration of the 400th anniversary of his death, Cecco Bonanotte is producing a monument that is 3.5 meters high and 7 meters wide. It is going to be installed in Macerata in Italy, the hometown of Matteo Ricci, and in Beijing where he passed away.

Takasaki Museum of Art "5 Rooms Plus" Exhibition
Pavel Trnka
2010.4.25 - 6.30

The glass sculptures by Pavel Trnka, a glass artist from Czech Republic, were exhibited in "5 Rooms Plus" Exhibition of Takasaki Museum of Art.

Glass Object composed of 4 parts
cut and polished fused glass / 20.2×41.1×14.2cm / 1996

He combines glasses of various colors into a piece of work. His glass sculptures show us different faces according to the lights that pass through them, shadows generated by them, angles we look them from.

HIRO GALLERY held his exhibition twice including the one in HIRO GALLERY IZUKOGEN.

More information of the artist is here.

New Portal opening ceremony
Vatican Embassy in Japan

The opening ceremony of the new portal for the church of Vatican embassy in Japan was held at 12:00 on Mar. 9th. Archbishop Alberto Bottari De Castello organized the ceremony as 300 invited guests including each country’s ambassadors watched.

The new portal was made by a leading Italian sculptor, Cecco Bonanotte, who also produced the large portals of the Vatican Museums and the Luxembourg Museum. And he organized the interior decorating of the church and made the Holy Ark and Cross.

The images inside of the church are here

Cecco Bonanotte
Comune di Vinci “La Chiesa di Santa Croce” Project

The Church of Santa Croce in Vinci Village where Leonardo da Vinci was born

Leonardo da Vinci, a historic genius, was baptized in this church in 1452.
It was more than 550 years ago.

The baptistery is still in the church.
The works by Cecco Bonanotte were placed just like they surround the historic baptistery.

Finally, this project is going to be completed when the round sculptures that surround the ceiling dome is installed.

Pre-Opening Party was carried out on a grand scale on June 13th. Antonio Paolucci, the Director of the Vatican Museums, and a lot of very important people came to the party.

Chimei Hamada Exhibition “Absurdity and Humor”
Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, The Main Building
2009.6.6 - 7.12

Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art held Chimei Hamada Exhibition “Absurdity and Humor”. 170 collections of the museum were displayed.

Cage / bronze / 1983

Chimei Hamada Exhibition “Absurdity and Humor”

2009.6.6 (sat) - 7.12 (sun)
Venue: Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art


 Chimei Hamada was born in Takaki Village (It’s now Takaki, Mifune Town.), Kamimashiki County, Kumamoto Prefecture in 1917.

 He studied art under Shisei Tomita when he was a junior high school student. But when he graduated from the Oil Painting Department of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, a military life in WWⅡ Awaited him. Because of a great desire to draw more paintings, he watched everything as motifs of painting, from an artist’s viewpoint. His later statement, “Soldiers often lay dead in beautiful poses as if sculpted by Michelangelo” indicates this attitude. And his eyes also tightly caught the contradiction of the military in war, an extreme situation, and human cruelty.

 Through these experiences, Hamada bravely chose War as a motif. And it was etching he chose to depict war precisely, the technique that makes it possible to express objects sharply and coldly. His works including the series of Elegy for a New Conscript, the series that represents the early stage of his career, have been highly valued worldwide and Uffizi Gallery in Italy collected 19 works in 2007.

 Not only the works that draw war, later he also made works that sharply penetrate into human society and the period, for example Button B and Deal, and he adopted sculpture as a new way of expression from 65 years old. Through his printings and sculptures, we can say he not only severely criticizes the absurdity of society, represented by war, also expresses them with humor. Those works indicate Hamada’s deep interest and love to human beings.

 Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art has been collecting Chimei Hamada’s works from the very beginning of this museum. Chimei Hamada himself entrusted 19 sculptures to our museum and that enriched our collections. We hope you feel the endless and very strong message from small monochrome surfaces of printings of our about 170 collections.

[Related events]

Lecture Meeting: Dialogue with Chimei Hamada -- Can Japanese Art be honored in the world?

Date: 2009.6.13 (Sat.) 14:00 - 15:30
Lecturer: Sugako Takahama (An associate professor of Kumamoto University EISEI-BUNKO Research Center attached to Faculty of Letters)
Place: Lecture Hall in the main building of Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art (Free to listen, First 150 arrivals)

Ms. Takahama, who made the repeated interviews on the works by Chimei Hamada over 5 years, tells us his works and nature.

Slide Talk: What was War for painters? Chimei Hamada’s Case

Date: 2009.6.27 (Sat) 14:00 - 15:30
Lecturer: Tomoko Ochiai (A curator of Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art)
Place: Lecture Hall in the main building of Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art (Free to listen, First 150 arrivals)

The Church of Vatican Embassy (Apostolic Nunciature) in Japan
Opening Ceremony
- Works and Interior Design by Cecco Bonanotte -

Vatican Embassy in Japan placed in Kojimachi requested Cecco Bonanotte to make works and design the interior of the church in the embassy. The opening ceremony that commemorates the completion of them was held with about 250 very important people including various countries’ ambassadors.

The ceremony was progressed by Archbishop Alberto Bottari De Castello, the apostolic nuncio to Japan.

The new church was revived into a white, sharp and modern space overall.

In the innocent white space, there are stained glasses minimally designed by Bonanotte. In the center of the altar, 12 saints’ sculptures produced by Bonanotte’s unique aesthetics of formation, Holy Ark shining gold, the reliefs he curved christ’s stories on, the lamp and cross made of gold and silver are installed.

The church modern designed and filled with the delicate works by Bonanotte, is such a pure place that once we enter we are wrapped by the gentleness of light.

Enku Grand Award Exhibition
2009.2.24 - 3.20

Enku Grand Award Exhibition Marking 5th anniversary supported by Gifu Prefecture in 2009, Chimei Hamada won Enku Award. The exhibition of the winners was held as “Enku Grand Award Exhibition” at The Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu from Feb. 24th to Mar. 20th in 2009.

Details are on the website of The Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu.

2008.11.29 - 12.8

From Nov. 29th to Dec. 8th in 2008, BUNKAMURA ART SHOW 2008 (BAS 08), an annual exhibition that introduces young, up and coming artists, was held. The theme of the event was “Fear to Familiar.”

HIRO GALLERY introduced Daisuke Nagaoka.

The opening was a mixed performance of image, painting and music. It was carried out by Daisuke Nagaoka, Yasuyoshi Botan, Kou Iwata and Norimasa Sakanoshita. Botan and Nagaoka drew paintings to the music and made a space-time.

The title “Simultaneous Relay of Image” means the style that Daisuke Nagaoka and Yasuyoshi Botan take turns to draw on a prepared image. The new world made by the two artists fascinated the audience.

6 artists were presented in BUNKAMURA ART SHOW 08.

BAS 08 Participating Artists:

Nobutada OMOTE / Yoshikazu YANAGI / Daisuke NAGAOKA / Misa YOSHIZAWA / Reika NAKAYAMA / Sachiko WATANABE

<Entrance to BAS08>

Music, theater, art and so on. In all kinds of art, patrons are indispensable who admire the artists’ talent, sympathize with their artistry and give support. It applies to both artists and galleries that introduce them.

<Installation by Daisuke Nagaoka>

Speaking especially of young artists, to earn a living only by art is extremely difficult. Given the circumstances, regardless of whether the amount of money is large or small, we really appreciate the collectors who support artists.

<Daisuke Nagaoka -dialogue- >

We wish you continuously watch and support the activities of the artists from BAS. Thank you very much.

Term: 2008.11.29 - 12.8
Tel: 03-3477-9174


Chimei Hamada Exhibition at the Uffizi Gallery
2007.12.14 - 2008.1.27

It is the scenery of the Chimei Hamada Exhibition, which was held from Dec. 14th, 2007 to Jan. 27th, 2008 at the Uffizi Gallery. During the same term, Rembrant exhibition was also held in the next room.

The Uffizi Museum houses the collection of the Mudici. It is renowned worldwide for its great collections of the Renaissance art including The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci and other works by Italian Renaissance masters such as Michelangelo Buonarroti, Raffaello Santi and so on. Getting collected and holding an exhibition in the museum, which has over 400 years of history, were rare cases. Both one-man exhibition and being housed in the museum are the historic achievements so that Japanese artist has accomplished none of them before.

We interviewed some visitors about the works by Chimei Hamada. Looking at a painting, Elegy for a New Conscript: A Flabby Sun Rises, one of them highly praised it and said: “it is a true masterpiece that depicts the vast continent in its small surface and everlasting way that imply the suffering of war.”

Cecco Bonanotte Exhibition
Italian Institute of Culture in Tokyo
2007.5.25 - 6.24

Cecco Bonanotte Exhibition was held in the Italian Institute of Culture in Kudanshita, Tokyo from May 25th to June 24th as an official event of “PRIMAVERA ITALIANA ITALIA IN GIAPPONE 2007.”

Owing to the numerous articles and advertisements in Sankei Shimbun during the exhibition, many viewers came and enjoyed the works by Bonanotte.

In the exhibition, viewers were able to enjoy some works one cannot appreciate in Japan, such as the special display from the Vatican Museums. We hope all of you enjoy Bonanotte’s monumental creations on the spot when you travel to Italy, France and so on.

Hakone Open Air Museum
Cecco Bonanotte Exhibition
2006.12.10 - 2007.2.18

From 10th December 2006 to 18th February 2007, Cecco Bonanotte Exhibition was held at the Hakone Open-Air Museum sponsored by the museum and Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical.

In the exhibition, a total of 150 pieces including 90 sculptures, paintings and dessins were exhibited. They were borrowed from the domestic major museums and Italy, such as the Vatican Museums. The artist himself conducted the selection of the works, the arrangement of the venue and the display. So the exhibition was constructed by the value of the artist consistently on large scale.

Cecco Bonanotte is a leading modern sculptor in Italy. He has made many important works worldwide such as the new portal for the Vatican Museums in 2000 and the bronze portal of the Musee de Luxembourg in Paris in 2006. In Japan, His sculpture represented contemporary Italian art in the Italian Pavilion in the Ocean Expo in Okinawa, 1975 and a traveling exhibition was held at 4 museums in 1990.

To the artist’s page

Surrounded by the nature and light, Bonanotte’s sculptures had great presence. Thank you very much for coming.

Venue: The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Term: 10th Dec. 2006 - 18th Feb. 2007

Cecco Bonanotte Exhibition - La Divina Commedia
Italian Cultural Institute Tokyo
2006.11.10 - 2006.12.13

Cecco Bonanotte Exhibition - La Divina Commedia was held from Nov. 10th to Dec. 13th 2006 in the Italian Cultural Institute Tokyo.

Scene of the venue

La Divina Commedia - the Divine Comedy, is one of the greatest achievements in the world history of literature. It was written by a medieval Italian poet, Dante Alighieri (1265 - 1321). The Divine Comedy was represented in 103 pieces of drawings by Cecco Bonanotte, the leading contemporary Italian artist.

Frontispiece of the “Purgatory”

‘The tableaus of “La Divina Commedia” express a continuous scene with simplicity and lightness. In the scene, the thin and dreamy atmosphere encloses the fragments of reality made by small individual things. Through unstable and light dream, I worked on the fundamental themes of human beings. That is, about Love, Happiness, Limit of human, and Life.‘ (Cecco Bonanotte)

To the artist’s page

Thank you very much for coming.

Term:   Nov. 10th to Dec. 5th, 2006
Time:   11:00 - 18:00
Venue:  Italian Cultural Institute Tokyo
Hosts: Italian Cultural Institute Tokyo, Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Co., Inc.
Partners: Italian Embassy in Tokyo, Alitalia Airlines, HIRO GALLERY

Bronze portal of the Musee du Luxembourg in Paris
Cecco Bonanotte

On 11th September in 2006, an opening ceremony was held at the Musee du Luxembourg in Paris, commemorating the completion of the new bronze portal to the museum. The portal was produced by Cecco Bonanotte. a leading modern Italian sculptor, who is famous for making the bronze portal of the new entrance to the Vatican Museums.

Bronze portal of the Musee du Luxembourg

The museum was founded by Louis XVIII in 1818, to display the works by contemporary artists at that time. Originally it was a palace set up in 17th century, and the great series of picture by Rubens “The life of Marie de Medicis” decorated the corridor of the Luxembourg Palace at that time (They were now collected in the Musee du Louvre). Now, the Musee du Luxembourg is open during the special exhibitions only.

The Website of Musee du Luxembourg

Daisuke Samejima

From 18th [Fri.] August to 27th [Sun.] in 2006, Bunkamura Art Show 2006 was held at the Bunkamura Gallery in Shibuya. HIRO GALLERY introduced Daisuke Samejima.

The exhibiting artists are below.

Daisuke Samejima / Takeshi Nagase / Mutsuko Hamatake / Noriko Yamaguchi

In Daisuke Samejima’s works, sceneries are drawn on balls and frames. We can call his works “Stereoscopic Picture.” The works give us bizarre feelings that seem to reverse the relationship between human and the environment that surrounds us. The sceneries depicted on the works are not only the static, outer and no-time things, but also the ones as integrated episodes, having our inner images and time in which the images are generated.

A lot of attendance came and enjoyed the free and challenging expressions of the up-and-coming artists. Thank you very much for coming.

Term: Aug. 18th [Fri.] - 27th [Sun.], 2006
Tel: 03-3477-9174


Cecco Bonanotte Dante “La Divina Commedia” Exhibition
Opera di Santa Croce・Cappella de' Pazzi
2004.10.9 - 2005.1.9

The Divine Comedy was represented in 103 pieces of drawings by Cecco Bonanotte, the leading contemporary Italian artist who made the bronze portal of the Vatican Museums. The exhibition was held at the Pazzi’s Chapel, which are renowned for its architecture by Filippo Brunelleschi, who was one of the foremost architects of the Italian Renaissance, in Opera di Santa Croce, Florence.

This exhibition was an exceptional one cosponsored by the greatest museums in Italy including Opera di Santa Croce, that were also the venue, Vatican Museums and Uffizi Gallery. It was held from Oct. 9th, 2004 to Jan. 9th, 2005 and got great attention. 103 works by Bonanotte were highly valued for its overwhelming creativity and expression by superior technique of sketch, so Uffizi Gallery, which is well known for its great collection of paintings of the Italian Renaissance, acquired them.

Frontispiece of the “Heaven”

There is something discontinuous and at the same time melodious in the interpretation of the Comedy offered to us by Bonanotte. It is like bringing a shell up to the ear and listening to the sea breath. In this case the shell is the Poem, and the vast rumor that the artist has managed to capture while remaining enchanted by it and enchanting us spectators, admiring and a little fearful, comes from the depths of Poetry itself. (ANTONIO PAOLUCCI - Regional Director for Cultural Heritage and Landscape of Tuscany Region)

Venue:  OPERA DI SANTA CROCE・Cappella de' Pazzi
Term:   Oct. 9th, 2004 to Jan. 9th, 2005

Shoko Imano

From Aug. 21st [Sat.] to 31st [Tue.] in 2004, Bunkamura Art Show 2004 “LANDING” was held at the Bunkamura Gallery in Shibuya. This group exhibition was founded for spotting and presenting the artists who will lead the next generation. HIRO GALLERY introduced Shoko Imano for the first exhibition.

The exhibiting artists are below.

Tomoko Inagaki / Shoko Imano / Yuka Otani / Akio Omori / Goasa / Yuji Watabe

“LANDING,” the theme of the exhibition, means the relaying point or arriving point that every human reach to after the flight by the name of life, and the process to get there. If you compare a creative activity of an artist to a flight of an airplane, it is given the connection with others and the social value when it landed the airports called galleries and museums.

Eye Shadow
oil on canvas / 31.8×40.9cm / 2003

The mark of eyeshadow is put on the hand. It makes a complicated gradation with the under skin. On the hand and the eyeshadow that brilliantly decorates faces, There are the turning point between daily life and the opposite, and, a vague fluctuation.

Shoko Imano’s Page

Term: Aug. 21st [Sat.] to 31st [Tue.], 2004
Tel: 03-3477-9174


April 2003

In 2003, Cecco Bonanotte’s exhibition titled “IL TEATRO DALLA VITA,” the theater of life, was held. It was a memorial exhibition for the completion of the grand lecture hall in Yakushiji Temple at Nara. The exhibition was realized through full partnership with the Buddhist archbishop Shuin Matsukubo. Mr. Matsukubo finds universal philosophy like consciousness-only of Buddhism in Bonanotte’s works and highly values them.

Archbishop Matsukubo and Bonanotte

Installing Italian contemporary sculpture inside Yakushiji Temple, a traditional Japanese holy place, was an epoch-making event so it was paid big attention. In his famous book “Hyakuji Junrei,” Pilgrimage of one hundred temples, Itsuki Hiroyuki writes he was strongly impressed by the work. This work was exhibited at the Opera di Santa Croce in Florence later. Both Yakushiji Temple and Opera di Santa Croce are the World Heritage Sites. We can tell the artistry of the works by Bonanotte is needed regardless of the distance of east and west, time and space.

IL TEATRO DELLA VITA - The Theater of Life -

This relief is a polimaterial work using plural metals such as bronze, copper, silver, brass, aluminum and so on. Each metal was chosen according to the each expression. In the whole body of the work, the grand themes are shown such as the birth of life, life force, balance in life, human history and so on.

To the catalogue of this exhibition

Osuke Shimazaki Retrospective
Okawa Museum of Art
2002.6.5 - 9.29

From June 5th [Wed.] to September 29th [Sun.] 2002, “Osuke Shimazaki Retrospective” was held at the Okawa Museum of Art in Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture. Osuke Shimazaki (1908-1992) held his exhibition only once before his death, so almost all of his activity as an artist didn’t see the light of day. After 10 years from his death, about 100 pieces were exhibited in the retrospective. They included the oil paintings he drew when he stayed in Germany in 1970, unpublished early works, dessins, the works by his brother Keiji and the some data of his father Toson.

In Lubeck

Osuke’s “Solitude” having roots in Toson’s “Melancholy inherited from parents,” got universalized and crystallized into an Art. To get there, his career as a “shadowy painter” was needed. In his career, many experiences were integrated through the trial and error after war, then it went back to the Solitude and Toson in his childehood. The experience includes the bottom of the Kiso River he gazed at all by himself in his childhood, Mt. Ena, the revelation against Toson, the burden he borne from the excitement and wandering in Germany, the reality he had to face in China.
The sepia of the world in his eye socket was generated by the artist’s silence. He cast the world and color to society. During over 30 years after that, society has kept silence. From the works that appeared in front of us after a long interval, what can the people who look at them get from it?
( Fumihiro Sunohara, Curator of Okawa Museum of Art / from the catalogue of the exhibition )

An exhibition of Osuke Shimazaki was also held at HIRO GALLERY in 2010.

Osuke Shimazaki Exhibition -Persistence and Liberation on the Sepia- 

Box Art Exhibition / Ugo Cortesi
RIAS ARK MUSEUM OF ART; Niigata City Art Museum; Shizuoka ART Gallery; The Museum of Art, Kochi
2001.7.4 - 2002.5.26

A traveling exhibition that rotates 4 museums throughout Japan, “Box Art Exhibition,” was held from July 4th 2001 to May 26th 2002. Ugo Cortesi, an Italian artist, exhibits from HIRO GALLERY.

Box Art is namely the art of boxes. It means the works that utilize the world of “the inside” and “the outside” of boxes, the mystique and presence generated by dividing space.

First, children find a box that he can store his treasures in secret from everybody when they want to keep something they cherish. The common, little items that are not important for others, got entered into the special “boxes,” their ordinariness vanishes, then each one of them are integrated into a treasure. Isn’t it possible that the theme of boxes attract the contemporary artists because the theme has the seemingly inconsistent components such as “ordinaries of life” and “original sensitivity field” ? (From the outline of the exhibition)


Every color surrounded by small boxes in the Ugo Cortesi’s works, never mingles with other colors defended by its four outside walls. The rigid definition symbolizes the rule that Cortesi, who is an artist and also a doctor, controls himself by. “To have two souls as an artist and a doctor, the wall is indispensable,” Cortesi says.

Therefore doctor Ugo Cortesi and U-Box can live together only if they are well separated from rigid barriers and hard rules. [The suffering humanity which daily asks help to the doctor] must not invade the colour gaiety, as this gaiety must not pass away into the daily pain.

To the artist’s page

All About Chimei Hamada
Cosponsored by The Asahi Shimbun Co.; The Odakyu Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art, Toyama; the Shimonoseki City Art Museum; and the Itami City Museum of Art.

All About Chimei Hamada, an exhibition cosponsored by The Asahi Shimbun Co. and other museums throughout Japan, was held in 1996.

Elegy for a New Conscript: Sentinel

Worthy of the title “All About,” over 200 works from the all published works by 1996 to the unpublished watercolor paintings, sketches and so on. That includes the sketches drawn in Tokyo School of Fine Arts, the early works that severely censure war, the recent works that humorously satirize the absurdity and ugliness in society and the sculptures made from 1983.

Person with Excessive Information

Held in the next year of the 50th anniversary of the end of WWⅡ, the exhibition attracted much attention as one that renews the historical value of Chimei Hamada. In 1994, Hamada said “I think art has roles as something that entertains people and decorations. But not only that things, I believe that to express the society we live in is also a role of art.” How an artist, who went through the worst hell human beings could create, lived and what he watched and thought for five decades after that. And, how he participated in society through art. It became an important traveling exhibition in his artistic career.

To the catalogue of this exhibition

Chimei Hamada Exhibition
The Japan Gallery of the British Museum
1993.8.26 - 9.26

Chimei Hamada Exhibition was held at the Japan Gallery of the British Museum in London from Aug. 26th to Sep. 26th in 1993. The British Museum is one of the largest museums in the world and houses over seven million objects. It was established in 1753 and has its great history, so the one-man show was in the news as an important achievement.

British Museum

The exhibition was realized through full coordination with Lawrence Smith, the keeper of Japanese Antiquities of the British Museum. Mr. Smith highly appreciates Chimei Hamada as one of the three greatest caricaturists in the world ranked with Goya in Spain and Dauchez in France. The article below is the critique of Chimei Hamada by Mr. Smith on CHIMEI HAMADA COMPLETE 1993 (published by KYURYUDO, 1993), the catalogue made to commemorate the exhibition.

"It is almost too painful to look for long at the prints of Hamada Chimei, so great is their intensity of feeling and so dense yet economical his pictorial technique. As the years pass and his early works come under the more detached scrutiny of history, this intensity seems only to grow, uncannily like the graphic work of Goya, who must be seen as Hamada’s spiritual ancestor. One wonders, gazing for even few minutes at his early masterpiece, Elegy for a New Conscript; Sentinel, how the artist could himself bear the emotional pressure of working for the hours and days it took to perfect the original plate, reliving at every second, one cannot doubt, the horrible tragedy of his early experiences.

Much of the best Japanese graphic art of the generation after 1945 has hidden intensity, a sense of frightening emotion carefully controlled but still radiating the invisible electricity generated at its heart. This is not surprising when one considers the terrible events of the Pacific War. But in the case of Hamada, what is truly astonishing is that he almost alone among artists seems to have been able to face these things directly and without evasion. Throughout his career, he has successively examined with an impassioned openness the emotional wastes of human beings under the colossal stresses of the horrors of war, the pathos of the truly mad, the bewilderment of the neurotic, and the emptiness of modern urban life.

These are his great and compassionate themes, but he also casts more satirical glances at the direct exploitations of people by each other, such as abuse of company power in Boss or the mutual deceptions of sexuality in A Song of Love.


A Song of Love

To meet the serene, gentle person who is Hamada Chimei today is both a delightful experience and an awe-inspiring one. One wonders how a man who has clearly suffered so much internally can in person communicate such a sense of peace. The answer, possibly, lies in the very clarity of scrutiny which he has bestowed on the haunting themes of his work, and the ultimately healing efforts of that process. For there is no bitterness in the work, for all its starkness, and the overwhelming impression from Hamada’s complete, though not large oeuvre, is of compassion.

It is customary for critics from any culture, when faced with the work of a modern Japanese artist, to try to define his or her Japaneseness. For Hamada this would be an irrelevance and one might say almost an insult. He is an artist of the world, speaking to the world, and there is no doubt that the world will cherish him as such more and more as the history of art is written with the perspicacity which the passing of time gives."
(Lawrence Smith: Keeper of Japanese Antiquities, The British Museum, London)