Japan art and Gyoshu Hayami (1894-1935)
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The artist Gyoshū Hayami (1894-1935) lived during a period of modernization in Japan. At the same time, the political arena was highly explosive – from extreme nationalism to loyal communist supporters. However, in the art of Gyoshū, you feel the richness of culture, nature, passion, and his inquisitive approach towards art.
Hence, the world of Gyoshū through the prism of his art was a million miles away. Also, while Gyoshū was open to modern artistic trends, he was equally enthralled by older artistic traditions. This notably applies to Yamato-e, Rinpa, and Bunjinga.
Despite being born during the Meiji Period, Gyoshū belongs to the Taisho and Showa periods of history. Hence, the more open world of Taisho impacted Gyoshū before nationalism entrenched itself even further during the latter part of his life.
The Miyagi Museum of Art says, “Hayami Gyoshu was born in Tokyo. In 1908 at 14, he studied under Matsumoto Fuko and around 1911 joined the Koji-kai. In 1914 he showed his work in the first exhibition of the re-established Nihon Bijutsu-in and was recommended for the status of Friend of the Institution. In 1917 he became a full member and centered his artistic activities around its exhibitions thereafter.”
Gyoshū was extremely passionate about art. Thus one can imagine the debates that took place – artistic, cultural, idealism, and political debates – in the artistic circles he belonged to. Therefore, the energy of others also influenced Gyoshū in many ways – just like his ideas impacted others.
The artistic spark of life that blessed Gyoshū was sadly ended suddenly when he was only 40 years of age. Hence, typhoid fever ended his life abruptly in 1935.
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