Japan art and Kobayashi Kokei (1883-1957)
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Japanese artist Kobayashi Kokei (1883-1957) was born in Niigata prefecture. From a young age, Kokei began to draw in the style of Nihonga (Japanese-style painting) art.
His early life was extremely tragic because his mother died when Kokei was only 4 – and his young brother and father would also die when he was young. Therefore, from the age of 13, Kokei and his remaining sister fended for themselves.
Kokei moved to Tokyo when he was 16 to become an artist. However, with the tragedy of his early life, Kokei was determined to succeed. Hence, art provided a deep solace for him.
The Hiroshima Museum of Art says, “A Japanese-style painter. He was one of the presentative members in the In-ten (by Japanese Visual Arts Academy). He is said to create the ‘Neo-Classicism in Japanese-style paintings’ with fresh and crisp spaces in simple compositions, colors, and lines.”
In 1922, Kokei traveled to England, France, and Italy. During his travels, Kokei became inspired by fresh ideas after witnessing various cultures and new art forms. On returning to Japan in 1923, Kokei focused extensively on Japanese classical painting – embued by his independent thinking.
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