Japanese Art Museum Receives Foujita Paintings

November 8, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. depict (v.) [dih-pikt] – to describe or show something in a picture, painting or sculpture
Example: My grandmother’s painting depicted her happy life before the war broke out.

2. make a name for oneself (idiom) [meyk uh neym fawr wuhn-self] – to achieve distinction or to become well-known
Example: It takes patience and perseverance to make a name for oneself in the law profession.

3. acquaintance (n.) [uh-kweyn-tns] – a relationship that is not very intimate or close
Example: I saw a college acquaintance yesterday at the office.

4. renowned (adj.) [ri-nound] – famous and well known for skills and expertise
Example: Italian singer Luciano Pavarotti is renowned for his powerful tenor voice.

5. propaganda (n.) [prop-uh-gan-duh] – information used to promote a policy, idea, or cause
Example: The city environment office made TV advertisement as propaganda on proper waste disposal.

Read the text below.

The Pola Museum of Art in Hakone recently received 37 paintings of Japanese artist Leonard Foujita from a private collector whose nationality remains undisclosed.  The museum spokeswoman Yurika Hirata said that the artworks were unknown to them until they were given as gifts.

The oil paintings are said to have been painted between 1956 and 1958. Some of the works show children doing various work such as cleaning and cooking, while others depict religious themes.

Foujita combines Japanese ink techniques and western-style painting in his works. A noted cat lover, he is known for his paintings of cats and naked women with skin as white as milk.

Born in Tokyo as Tsuguharu Fujita, he finished his studies at the age of 24 at what is now the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. He then moved to Paris where he made a name for himself before World War II. There, he met other artists such as Modigliani and Isadora Duncan with whom he studied dance. He was also an acquaintance of world-renowned painters Picasso and Matisse.

He returned to Japan after his travels in South America.  While in his home country in the 1930’s, he created propaganda art for the military. Paris was known to be the center of Foujita's work in his later years. However, some of his art pieces suggest that he also painted in other countries.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

·         Are there a lot of schools and institutions for the arts in your country?
·         Is being an artist a famous career in your country these days?

Discussion B

·         Does your country support local artists? If yes, how?
·         Why do you think that some artists move to other countries to pursue their works?

November 8, 2011