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France-Japan Multinational Contemporary Art Exhibition 2019
-20th anniversary- Report
The France-Japan Multinational Contemporary Art Exhibition organized by "Japan International Artists Society", which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, was held for 11 days from Wednesday August 7th to Sunday, August 18th. Despite the record heatwave and hail storm, which has been typical in recent years during the summer in Japan, the exhibition welcomed between 500 and 1000 spectators every day in the crowded National Art Center of Tokyo.

In front of an impressive red kakemono unrolled on the wall of the entrance, the exhibition welcomed many Japanese visitors along with many visitors from foreign countries. A lot of regulars eagerly awaited the opening of the exhibition. Of course, the prestige of the exhibition hall played a large part of the success of the event, but the spectators were also really passionate about the uniqueness of the works on display.
When entering the exhibition hall, visitors are welcomed by 32 pieces’ representative of Japanese artistic aesthetics: kimonos, sculptures, handicrafts and even hanging scrolls.

In the aisle people could find not far from 81 pieces created by artists internationally renowned: Chinese artists, American, Dutch, or artists from the salon d’automne.

In the back of the corridor, 217 works of Japanese contemporary art were exhibited. Varied and creative, they were made using different media: oil, watercolor, pastel. We could also see different styles of expression: Japanese painting, abstraction, realism, landscapes, etc... Each piece is unique. In total there were 298 works of art representing the work of 276 artists. This was truly a unique exhibition!
At the entrance of the exhibition, videos filmed during «Salon International de Paris» held last February in Paris were broadcast. In addition, visitors could see videos showing the Japanese Visual Art Exhibition held in May in Finland, in collaboration with JIAS as well as images of the 2018 edition of the France – Japan Multinational Contemporary Art Exhibition. Both spectators and exhibitors, attracted by these images, frequently observed these this display throughout the exhibition. These images of the exhibitions organized by JIAS showcased how artists, on-site team members and other collaborators were actively working around the world and were putting all their energy into promoting these popular exhibitions. The video also featured images of the "Japanese International Exhibition" which has been attracting more and more visitors from all over the world every year.

Madame Sylvie KŒCHLIN

The National Art Center's auditorium, various events were held to celebrate and shine a special light on the exhibition.
On Wednesday August 7th, the first day of the exhibition, a conference on "The Exhibition of Art Prizes" which will be sponsored by JIAS next year was held.

The conference entitled "History and Art of Dubrovnik in the Republic of Croatia" was conducted by a member of the JIAS team being that the original European author was unable to visit Japan.

In addition to photographs taken during a recent visit to Croatia, videos and slides sent directly from Croatia allowed visitors to see local lifestyles and urban landscapes that echo those of the Middle Ages. At the end of the conference, a video showing Ms. TEPSIC Yelka, Deputy Mayor of Dubrovnik as well as representatives of local organizations were shown to the Japanese participants.

Subsequently, an award ceremony for the winners of previous year's exhibition was held at the same venue. The president of the Salon d'Automne, Mrs. KOECHLIN Sylvie and the video producer, Mr. MORET Pascal presented the prizes to the winners who stood before a slide of their work. After that, the corporate sponsors presented the Special 20th Anniversary award as well as the Special Mention of the Jury in front of a live audience.

At the ceremony that closed the first day of the exhibition, about 160 people including Japanese artists whose works were exhibited, members and artists of the Salon d'Automne were in attendance.

The president of the Salon d'Automne (special partner of the event) Mrs. KOECHLIN Sylvie and the president of JIAS, Mr. MAGORI Bumpier made a speech. Mr. SAKAMOTO Tatsuhiko, representing Japanese artists, toasted the festivities. During the festival, the artists were able to have a warmly discuss art and various other subjects.

Foreign artists were quotes as saying that Japanese works were "strong and heartfelt" and that "the works embellished as they watched them".

The next day, Thursday August 8th, a discussion was held in the “3A” showroom with several art critics.
For the first time, following the participation of no less than 100 candidates, so it was decided to split them into two groups to help accompany the fluidity of the artists. The president of the Salon d'Automne, Ms. KOECHLIN, and the president of JIAS, Mr. MAGORI, were in group A. The video producer, Mr. MORET Pascal, and a member of the board of the Salon d'Automne as well as a president of the abstract painting, Mr. LEGRAND Denis, constituted group B.

The members of each group addressed each participant individually and offered them a critical review of their work.
The participants happily commented on this new exercise that: "It encouraged me for the future", "It's a new exercise for me, but very motivating. Other artists said they were " impressed " and that critical review would “feed their future work ".

Finally, it should be noted that a collection box in support of the victims of the earthquake in eastern Japan entitled "Project to buy art supplies for children who love painting in the city of Rikuzentakata" was set up on a table at the entrance.

Thanks to this collection box, 64 750 yen (about 550 euros) was collected and permitted us to buy 750 sketchbooks that were sent to the kindergarten in Rikuzentakata by a local association linked to the school.

Every year we are proud to welcome a growing number of visitors. This time, the curtain of the event closed on a record attendance of nearly 8,000 people.

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