If you have an interest in Japanese-style paintings, there’s a very comprehensive collection at the Hirayama Ikuo Museum of Art in the quaint town of Onomichi, Hiroshima. It provides an artwork collection compilation of one of the most celebrated artists, Ikuo Hirayama, whose name is well known beyond his native land. Let’s get to know the artist and his collections.
Ikuo Hirayama is a world-renowned artist who was born in Hiroshima Prefecture. He is a popular figure in Japan and abroad owing to his Silk Road paintings which depicted the extensive network of trade routes along the regions of Asia to China. He spent most of his childhood years in an extremely peaceful place until the outbreak of World War II. When the atomic bomb was dropped, he was able to narrowly escape from it though he was still caught with the radiation after-effects which affected most of his paintings’ subject matter in his early career. He had an extreme determination to restore what was lost in his place especially the treasures of a unique civilization. He made it possible by becoming the president of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music where he also came to the point of donating some of his painting sales to set up organizations in other countries.
Hirayama’s Japanese-style paintings are so different from the rest because of the real surface texture it possesses. It is said that some of his works have thick re-coating that can reach to a hundred times. Before getting in touch with Buddhism in his paintings, he centered working on art related to this childhood and hometown. He also has painting sketches called “shitazu” which were considered outlines before he embarked on a new painting idea. The collections you can see in his museum are subdivided into different classes: Childhood, Early Works, Buddhism Later, Shitazu, and Fifty-three Stages on the Shimanami Highway.
Get in touch with Japanese cultural heritage at Hirayama Ikuo Museum of Art which is open all year round from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission fee for adults is 900 yen, and for secondary and high school students is 200 yen. Coming in groups of 10 or more will avail you of a 10% entrance fee discount.