Glass Artists in Japan
Senior Editor Atsushi TAKEDA
The history of
modern glass as a new form of the plastic arts will shortly reach its
first half-century. Including the proud Czech tradition and the "studio
glass" movement originating in the United States, the number of artists
working in this field is steadily rising in countries around the world.
At the same time, remarkable expansions and diversifications are taking
place in the range of expressions. The attractions and plastic possibilities
of glass as a material accordingly look stronger than ever, and appear
to promise a rich future for glass art.
Japan is also seeing a lot of activity in the world of glass, with the solid achievements of the newly prominent younger generation attracting interest. Behind this, there are a number of factors at work, prime among them being the provision of adequate educational facilities. While the short courses confined to instruction in glass techniques that were frequently held in the past are still being offered today, there are more places and growing opportunities for a broader education in the arts. In fact, when we examine the subsequent careers of those who have studied at a number of these educational facilities, many of them have become independent in one way or another and have started working as free-lance artists. An examination of their work reveals great freedom of expression and creativity; it offers real attractions to encourage the future progress of glass art. This work, together with that of Kyohei FUJITA, one of the leaders of postwar Japan's modern glass art, and the ongoing activities of other artists who pioneered and laid the groundwork for modern glass art, encourages us to expect further advances in Japan's glass art in the future.
There is a growing need both within Japan and overseas for information that will give an accurate grasp of the activities of those working in the plastic arts with glass. Unfortunately, we cannot claim that existing systems and materials are adequate. The publishing of "Contemporary Glass Artists in Japan" was planned as a basic attempt to address this deficiency. I hope that it will find widespread use among those who, whether layman or expert, share an interest in glass. As for international cultural exchanges, surely essential in this area, we earnestly hope that it will form a useful source of valuable data. Accordingly, simultaneous with its publication, open access and the necessary constant updating will take place via the Internet.
In connection with its publication, the Asahi Glass Company has not only shouldered full responsibility for funding but has also admirably performed all the administrative and other chores involved in its planning and editing. As one of those who proposed this project, I would also like to express my deep appreciation for the individual artists who supported it, contributed data and cooperated with us, and the various specialists who volunteered their editorial services.
I warmly welcome all support and cooperation from the largest possible number of those who can help us to make the published data more accurate and meaningful.
(Guest Professor, Tama Art University)
About "Contemporary Glass Artists in Japan"
These pages introducing "Contemporary Glass Artists in Japan" have been rearranged for Internet presentation from the book of the same title.
The editorial purpose of "Contemporary Glass Artists in Japan" was to introduce artists active in the field of glass art, both Japanese citizen and those who, while not necessarily Japanese, pursue their artistic vocation in Japan. The aim was to make them known not only within Japan but also to the wider outside world. In view of the great difficulty of including everyone who falls within these categories, the editorial committee has made its selections based on artistic merit. The first edition of the book listed 268 individual artists. However, the editorial committee cannot claim to have included everyone, and there will continue to be new, gifted artists who start to work with glass. The intention is therefore to perform ongoing reviews and updates.
Editorial policy adopted a bilingual approach, with listings in both Japanese and English, in order to make those involved with glass art overseas familiar with contemporary glass art in Japan. The details of individual artists are based on data provided by the artists themselves. This led to a certain lack of consistency in the information provided in the first edition. Based upon our experience with the first edition, we intend to further improve the appearance and ease of use.
The first edition print run of 1,000 books is not available for purchase at booksellers. In accordance with the purpose for which it was published, it is being distributed free of charge to those involved in glass art within Japan and overseas, art museums and galleries, and to the artists featured within it.
The book's distribution is limited, so to make lovers of glass art aware of these splendid modern examples of the art and the artists, and to provide ongoing updates with the latest information, it was decided to publish it on the Internet in this form. Future renewals are planned for the Internet version at this site.
The Editorial Committee of 'Contemporary Glass Artists in Japan'
|TAKEDA, Atsushi||Guest Professor, Tama Art University|
of 2nd Cultural Promotions Dept.
Eikoh Institute of Culture and Education(Inc.)
|MIZUTA, Yoriko||Curator of Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art|
|NISHIMURA, Kimio||President of Art-Sha Co.,Ltd.|
|YOSHIMOTO, Yumiko||Glass Artist|
|INAMURA, Yoshiatsu||Former Leader of C.C.Div., Asahi Glass Co., Ltd|