Jam Session: The Ishibashi Foundation Collection×Morimura Yasumasa M’s Gift of the Sea: Auto-Mythology

Exhibition Highlights

  • Nearly all of the works on display are new works
    This exhibition will consist of about ten works by Aoki from the collection and about sixty works by Morimura. Of them, more than fifty are new works – photographs and videos of Morimura dressing himself to resemble Aoki’s self-portraits and depictions of characters from A Gift of the Sea, plus studies and dioramas, Morimura created for this exhibition.
  • Morimura Yasumasa explores Aoki Shigeru
    Through his own original art, Morimura interprets and comments on masterpieces by Aoki Shigeru from the museum’s collection, including A Gift of the Sea and Paradise Under the Sea (1907). Morimura’s M’s Gift of the Sea is based on his careful research on Aoki.
  • Large-scale Installation
    Morimura’s M’s Gift of the Sea comprises ten variations on Aoki’s A Gift of the Sea, exploring variations in Japan’s culture and history in periods ranging from Meiji, Taisho, and Showa to the present and the future. Eighty-five individual characters appear in them. The ten versions of M’s Gift of the Sea, each 3 meters wide, are arranged in a circle in this large-scale installation.


  • 森村 泰昌



    Born in Osaka in 1951. Since his debut in 1985 with a portrait photograph of himself disguised as van Gogh, Morimura has shown works in Japan and abroad. Served as artistic director for the 2014 Yokohama Triennale. Recent solo exhibitions include The Self-Portraits of YASUMASA MORIMURA: My Art, My Story, My Art History (National Museum of Art, Osaka, 2016), Yasumasa Morimura: Ego Obscura, Tokyo 2020 (Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, 2020), and Morimura Yasumasa: Want to change the world? Be seriously unserious (Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design, 2020). In 2018, opened Morimura @Museum in Kitakagaya, Osaka. His many publications include Jigazõ no yukue (Whither the self-portrait; Kobunsha Shinsho).

  • 青木 繁



    Portrait photograph of Aoki Shigeru, 1907

    Born in Kurume, Fukuoka prefecture, in 1882 and died in 1911. One of the most significant Western-style painters of the Meiji period, he made his debut in 1903 with a group of works on mythological subjects while still a student at the Fine Arts School. The following summer, he, his friends Sakamoto Hanjiro and Morita Tsunetomo, and his lover Fukuda Tane stayed in a fishing village on the Boso Peninsula (currently Tateyama, Chiba prefecture). His imagination stirred by the story of the large catch of fish that his friends saw, Aoki created A Gift of the Sea, a major work. The superb conceptual power and bold style of that painting attracted great interest, evoking a strong response, including arguments over whether it was finished or not. This exhibit of Aoki’s masterworks includes Self-Portrait from 1903, the year of Aoki’s debut, and Onamuchi-no-mikoto (1905) and Paradise Under the Sea, both paintings inspired by Japanese myths.

The Ishibashi Foundation Collection

The Ishibashi Foundation Collection began as the personal collection of Ishibashi Shojiro, its founder, and is now owned by the Ishibashi Foundation, which continues those collecting activities. Presently consisting of about 2,800 works, the collection spans Western paintings, modern Japanese-style paintings, sculpture and ceramics from East and West, and Chinese and Japanese calligraphy and paintings, as well twentieth century and contemporary art.

Jam Sessions

The Jam Sessions embody “Experiencing Creativity,” the concept guiding the Artizon Museum. For Jam Sessions, artists and curators working together organize exhibitions with new works inspired by specific works in the Ishibashi Foundation Collection and sessions in which the collection and the artist’s works interact to create new points of view. Our goal is a project that will be a bridge past and present and lead on to the future. The museum plans to hold a Jam Session every year.