While the theme of the 1st and 2nd YUKUHASHI BIENNALE was a historical figure who contributed to the development of civilization, a particular historical figure was not stipulated. For the 3rd Biennale, however, we would like to name a specific figure as the theme. That person, the centennial of whose death will be celebrated in 2020, was born and raised in Yukuhashi and was an extraordinary contributor to the West’s understanding of Japan. His name is Suematsu Kenchō (1855–1920).
【The Artwork Theme】
Historical figures who have contributed to the development of civilization through their knowledge and intelligence:
The Great Influencer of the Meiji period Suematsu Kenchō.
December 1, 2019—March 31, 2020
【Awards and Prizes】
Grand Prize (1) JPY10,000,000
Citizens Award (1) JPY200,000
Award for Excellence (5) JPY100,000
Children’s Grand Prize (1) Trophy
While Suematsu is chiefly known for his political activities as Home Minister in the cabinet of Itō Hirobumi, he also left a rich cultural legacy—beginning with his history of the Meiji Restoration called Bōchō kaiten-shi (History of Chōshū’s Dramatic Resurgence) and including the first English translation of The Tale of Genji and his Japanese rendering into Japanese of William Anderson’s groundbreaking The Pictorial Arts of Japan. Thus Suematsu was important not only politically but also in the fields of art and literature. He played an important role in laying the foundation for Japan as a modern state in international society.
Though a remarkably talented man with a broad international perspective, Suematsu is not a name that is widely known today. On the other hand, however, his achievements during the Meiji period were extraordinary. He could be called one of the great influencers of the period. YUKUHASHI BIENNALE 2021 thus calls for submissions that give substantial, imaginative form to this unique individual.
Call for Entries
Professor, Graduate School of Kyushu University
Sculptor; Professor Emeritus at Joetsu University of Education
Editor; former Art Editor at Kodansha International Ltd.
Mayor of Yukuhashi City
The winner of the 2017 Yukuhashi Sculpture Competition