Hello, spring has come.
I spotted a cluster of pink flowers and tulips on the way back from grocery shopping.
Spring always lights up my heart.
The weather is finally warm enough to go out, and Covid restrictions were eased last weekend. Now I’m planning to resume routine museum visits.
I have many favorite museums that I would like to share with you, and I would like to take you on a virtual tour of one of my favorite museums, which is surrounded by a nice walk-about park. It is The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, located in the vicinity of beautiful Kitanomaru Park.
This area is the only place where car lanes have L.A. width (according to me), and it’s also close to the Imperial Palace; the gardens and streets are meticulously maintained.
It is the perfect place to feel the sunshine and take a deep breath in the middle of Tokyo.
The National Museum of Modern Art is a special place for me because I have an early memory of visiting a formal museum. My grandma took me there when I was in elementary school.
The museum specializes in modern Japanese art, and we went to the exhibition of the legendary manga artist Osamu Tezuka. (I researched the exhibition, and it was 1990.)
My first museum visit was also one of grandma’s first attempts at taking her grandkid, me, to Tokyo.
We lived in Yokohama, a suburban city, and my grandma prepared thoroughly so that I didn’t get kidnapped.
She told me to never let go of her hand, which I thought troublesome.
(I’m grateful, but my grandma’s over prudence then makes me smile now because I know this area is one of Tokyo’s highest security areas.)
I remember feeling excited right from the entrance when I saw the stacks of exhibition catalogs.
These thick oversized books got me enthusiastic about the exhibition.
I was into anything that made me feel grown-up, and I loved to see books that I had never seen in the kids’ book section.
At the exhibition, Tezuka’s original drawings blew my mind.
I thought a manga master, like Tezuka, effortlessly drew and created his works.
I never expected to see his passion and struggle to draw.
His manga drawings were not flat on one piece of paper—they looked like paper collages.
I could see the layers of paper cut and pasted on top of each other to get the right composition.
Some parts of the ink were thick, like an oil painting, to express the rain and snow.
The energy coming from those original works was so intense that I felt Tezuka and his team’s energy right there.
I never thought that manga, which I read just for fun, was created with such energy.
I didn’t know what to expect in the museum, so I had low (no) expectations for the exhibition, but it turned out that the experience still lives vividly within me.
To this day, I can remember the electrifying sensation of Osamu’s passion through his drawings.
From this experience, I’m more excited to see hand-drawn original works than digital works.
I enjoy studying the surface and feeling the artist’s passion through paintings, which no screen or monitor can show and display.
I have been working as a graphic designer, and Adobe software is my work buddy, but I chose watercolor for my passion project.
I also pay extra attention to my energy because it is translated to you through paint and paper.
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