The 6 th KIWA Exhibition has finished. It was held in the Kyoto Municipal Museum, Annex, a Meiji Period building on its outside, but a state-of-the-art exhibition hall inside. KIWA has used the same large second floor twice before, in 2003 and 2007.
Exhibitions of this sort are usually only six days long. They can be free or tickets are needed. Ours are always entrance with a ticket. The show was installed on a Monday, opened on Tuesday, closed on Sunday and was dismantaled on Monday. In between over twelve hundred visitors came to see a fantastic display of truly wonderful, comtemporary woodblock print art.
We received 800 prints by 300 artists from 45 countries, more in each category than ever before. The level of artistic quality and craftsmanship was the highest yet, and the range of subject matter also wider and more interesting than in previous exhibitions.
KIWA is drawing the best art from the best artists around the world. Judging Day was held in the middle of September, 2010. It took one whole day. There are only 11 prizes, but more than twice that in supurb artwork had to be judged. The resulting choices can be thought to represent the top level of the most excellent printwork we have received in our 15 years of existence. More prizes are needed, to be fair to the other artists whose prints didn't get awarded.
Two and a half weeks before the show opened, Japan experience d a mighty earthquake and a terrible tsunami. We wondered if it would be right to hold an art exhibition in such circumstances. We went ahead and opened the show, and put up a Donation Box, which got filled with money that we gave after the show to the Red Cross. What was most interesting, however, were the comments visitors gave us, about how wonderful it was to see such excellent art, and to have dark and depressing moods lifted and relieved somewhat. KIWA and I personally were thanked daily for offering this exhibition. What greater reward can an artist have than to know that his/her art blesses and comforts viewers?
I thank each and every artist who sent in woodblock prints to the 6 th KIWA Exhibition. It was a history making experience, for us and for the visitors.