The artist Mr. Hidetaka Furukawa started painting the 20th Artist Room based on the theme: “Edo-Tokyo”, on January 8, 2016, continued the work for about two and a half month while staying at the hotel, and completed it on March 29, 2016.
“I’d be delighted if guests who stay in this room have an opportunity to discover even a little bit about the history of Tokyo that lies behind its modern veneer”, said Mr. Furukawa. In the foregrounds of the paintings of Tokyo’s landmarks today, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, and Nihombashi, scenes from ukiyo-e are used. From the pictures of famous places by Hiroshige from Edo period, Mr. Furukawa had chosen ones of the same places viewed from the same angle. Seasonal flowers such as cherry blossoms, hydrangea, morning glories, chrysanthemum and camellia are also painted to symbolize that these flowers never change, even with a time difference of over 160 years.
In Artist Room Edo-Tokyo, please enjoy taking a leisurely time trip across one and a half centuries, while looking at the overlapping landscapes of Edo and Tokyo.
Room #3111 | Completion Date: March 2016
“Edo” is the old name for Tokyo, and it’s also the name for the period in Japan known as the early modern period. Before 1868, there was a samurai government, and Japan had not yet made a change-over to the Western type of modern state. It was here that townspeoples’ culture, such as kabuki and ukiyo-e, grew and flourished, at that time, in this city. Also, there were a lot of Japanese food items still popular today, such as sushi and soba, since it was at that time that they took their present form.
In this way, although the food on the plates is still reminiscent of “Edo”, the city’s landscape has changed completely, and it is difficult to find actual remnants of the past. To such a degree that even Japanese who live here today, easily forget that they are living in the same land as Edo people did.
The bearing mark on the ceiling is from a map of the Edo period, and they show the exact direction of this room. This time, on the original theme of “Edo-Tokyo”, I painted three Tokyo landmarks – Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, and Nihombashi, on the walls. Each wall points to the direction of the landmark.
In the foregrounds of the paintings, I used scenes from ukiyo-e. From the pictures of famous places by Hiroshige, a master of color woodblock prints who was active in the late Edo period, I continually tried to choose ones of the same place viewed from the same angle. Edo and Tokyo. It is surprising that the two views with a time difference of 160 years would seem to be two completely different places.
In this room, while looking at the overlapping landscapes of Edo and Tokyo, please enjoy taking a leisurely time trip across one and a half centuries. Also, I’d be delighted if guests who stay in this room have an opportunity to discover even a little bit about the history of this town that lies behind its modern veneer.
Hidetaka Furukawa always expresses himself using a wide variety of materials – implements, diaries, biology and music, without sticking to any particular style.
In recent years, he has expanded a series named “CULTIVATE” which portrays land as the subject. Discovering the identity of the region from historical documents and fieldwork, and shining a spotlight on forgotten people and events, the series has become one of the pillars of his activity. He has handled many conceptual three-dimensional works, but is also noted for works in two dimensions which freely manipulate Japanese and Western styles.