Rokuzan Art Museum
One of 18 museums making-up the Azumino ‘Art Line’, the Rokuzan Art Museum explores the work of sculptor Rokuzan Ogiwara. Considered a pioneer of modern Japanese sculpture, Rokuzan’s work explores themes of inner turmoil and conflict.
Born and raised in Azumino, Rokuzan studied art in Tokyo before movin to the United States at the beginning of the 20th century, and within a few years, onto to France where the discovered the work of Rodin. Deeply moved by his work, Rokuzan shifted his focus from painting to sculpture.
Over the next 4 years, Rokuzan would move again between the United States, France and then a return journey to his homeland via Italy, Green and Egypt. In Tokyo, he would continue his work until is sudden and untimely death at the age of 30. As such, only 15 works survive to this day. Rokuzan’s strong Christian beliefs are reflected in the fact that the museum mimics a church, a tranquil setting in which to appreciate his life and work.
In addition to the museum’s permanent display of Rokuzan’s work, several annexed exhibition spaces exhibit other Japanese sculptors reflecting his influence on the medium in Japan. Visitors who want to try their hand at the basics of sculpture can do so in a simple but enjoyable workshop in which they can cast their own pewter keepsakes.
Workshops are led by museum staff who provide guests with a choice of items to cast including a replica of the Rokuzan Museum, an apple – a fruit synonymous with the region, or other keepsakes. Made of pewter, keepsakes make beautiful gifts or souvenirs, often used as paperweights.
The museum is open daily – other than Mondays from November to March – with advance booking required for workshops. See the museum website for details.