KAZUKI Yasuo 香月 泰男

Two human figures, so gaunt as to be only skin and bones and with prominently showing rib cages, sit still in darkness. The man in the front has his head in the grip of the other, handles man, and struggling to free himself by tensing his arms. This painting is from the “Starvation” series which Abe started to work on several years after returning to Japan following a six years’ stay in the Philippines during the war as a reporter for the Japanese military. In the prewar years, he was a member of the Bijutsu Bunka Kyokai (Art Culture Association) who was experimenting in Surrealist expressions, and at the same time, a photographer who belonged to the Avant-Garde Photographers’ Association. As the novelist Yojiro Ishizaka described him, “he did not produce any war painting [during the war]; but after so many years, he presents his own paintings of the war in these works, which are totally devoid of sentimental elements and firmly denouncing warfare in general.” After showing these works at Takemiya Gallery and winning recognition in overseas exhibitions including Bienal de Sao Paulo, the artist moved to Europe in the late 1960s. When he died in Italy, he left, in addition to his paintings, a large collection of record photographs covering many historical site of the Byzantine Empire. These, again, showed that he had a caring eye for things dying quietly without being known.
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Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
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Material / Technique
Oil on canvas
73.3(Height)×116.5(Width) cm
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Other items of Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (5506)