Do you know the picture of “Pitaya”?
The artist is Frida Kahlo.
She is one of Mexican leading contemporary art masters.
By chance, finding out about the painting called “Dragon Fruit” in the using Chinese character area, like China or Japan.
In Mexico, an art movement called the “Mexican Renaissance” was once unfolded.
The most symbolic is the “mural painting”.
Frida Kahlo’s companion is Diego Rivera, who is also a leading figure in the muralista art movement.
By the way, there is Taco Bell but no Chipotle in Japan.
For Chipotore fans, they just have been looking foward to opening the store, however, there are mural paintings influenced by Mexico, instead.
“General” Japanese murals are…
“General” Japanese murals, unrelated to Mexican influence, are mainly found in temples and tombs.
Because it means “a mourning for the dead.”
In the first place, mourning is an “expression of the feelings of living people” toward the dead, and it is also a Buddhistic view in which life and death circulate like wheels.
In other words, the death in front of you is your own death, and the mourning of the dead contains some “wishes” for the dead to go to Nirvana.
This point is also linked to the cave paintings in somewhere of the world.
It may be interesting to compare it with the mural paintings that have existed since ancient times.
Japanese murals influenced by Mexico
Now, introducing the mural paintings that influenced by Mexico.
① Taro Okamoto
The mural, which was originally supposed to color in Mexico City, but the hotel that made the order suffers from financial difficulties on his way to finish.
The painting was missing for a while, later it was found in the 2000s and then returned to Japan.
After the restoration, it can now be seen at Shibuya Station in Tokyo.
The theme of this painting is “the moment of tragedy when the A-bombs explode.”
However, what is important is not the tragedy itself, but Taro Okamoto’s strong mind to overcome even such a tragedy.
② Tamiji Kitagawa
Tamiji Kitagawa was a painter who lived in Mexico from 1924 to 1936.
He is actually the person he interacted with representatives of the Mexican muralista art movement, such as Diego Rivera.
After returning to Mexico in 1955, when was after the Pacific War, he made mural paintings mainly in Aichi prefecture, where lived until 1970.
It was that painting on the wall of the Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting Headquarters Building (commonly known as the CBC Headquarters Building) in Nagoya, Aichi.
This is also inside the Kagome headquarters building in Nagoya.
Kagome is a company that has an episode at the time of its founding that it succeeded in producing domestic tomato sauce during a good harvest of tomatoes.
Therefore, it seemed to be made the order about the color of tomatoes “red”.
The mural is on the outer of the Seto City Library, where is in Aichi prefecture.
“Victory of Knowledge” (left side)
“Ignorance and wisdom” (right side)
And there is “study” in front of entrance of the hall.
Kitagawa’s residence is in Seto where is located in far about 15 km northeast from Nagoya, it is a famous pottery producing area.
So, the mural is used a ceramic plate made at the kiln.
In addition, it is said that these murals contain the message that “people who is frightened by delusions get knowledge with a book and wipe out the ones.”
③ Tsuguharu Fujita
When Tamiji Kitagawa stayed in Mexico, he interacted with Tsuguharu Fujita (Leonard Foujita).
He has traveled since 1931, starting with Brazil and arrived in Mexico is in 1933,and returned to Japan via the United States later.
The following year, in 1934, he was ordered a mural painting for a coffee shop to spread Brazilian coffee to Japanese people.
The client is the Brazilian government.
Production time was only one month!
After that, the coffee shop closed due to the ＷＷⅡ.
The murals are sent to Brazil and bought back by Japanese companies in the 1970s, but when sending to Brazil, the painting was made panels to carry it easily.
Currently, the Wood One Museum in Hiroshima is about half the size both vertically and horizontally.
After that, in 1937, he worked a mural painting with the theme of Akita in a short period of about only 15 days!!
This can now be seen at the Akita Museum of Art.
Where can find Your “Wonderwall”
There is a novel called “The Wall” published in 1951,written by Kobo Abe, who is the famous Japanese author.
The main character is a story that he eventually becomes an inorganic “wall”.
How about being compared with “the murals”?
Perhaps there may be an “organic wall” in there.
If, contrary to Abe Kobo’s novel, the wall became the mural like a “person” while being transmitted from Mexico to Japan,
It fosters an increasingly mysterious charm over time,
Being sure it will facinate with us.
Perhaps that is the “Wonderwall” and the mural may be just one of many walls.