Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


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Letters and Messages

Remarks by Consul-General Nozomu Takaoka
at Dinner party to Celebrate the Opening of
For a New World to Come:
Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968–1979”

organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
on March 7, 2015

March 7, 2015

Good evening and welcome to my home. I’m very happy to be joined by so many distinguished people, some of whom came long way out of state and even from Japan. You all are promoting in your own way what I call happy marriages of economic prosperity, cultural beauty and international diversity in Houston, for which I am truly respectful.

Tonight we celebrate the opening of “For a New World to Come” which includes many works of art never seen in the United States. This exciting exhibition would not be possible without generosity gracefully extended. I would like to recognize Mr. Michael Chesser, Ms. Bettie Cartwright, Ms. Elisa Uematsu representing the Taka Ishii Gallery, Mr. and Mrs. Yasuhiko Saitoh, Ms. Miwa Sakashita and Mr. John Stroehlein, and Mr. and Mrs. Toshiyuki Yoshida. Thank you all for your kind support.

I also extend my thanks to excellent curators from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston: Associate Curator of Photography and exhibition organizer Mr. Yasufumi Nakamori; Curator of Photography Ms. Anne Tucker; and Curator of Asian Art Ms. Christine Starkman. Dr. Miwako Tezuka, Director of the Japan Society Gallery also joins us from New York. Thank you all for bringing inspiring works of Japanese art to Houston.

I want to also recognize Ms. Satomi Fujimura and Mr. and Mrs. Ryuichi Kaneko for kindly loaning pieces of their collection to the Museum. Your generosity has certainly enhanced and added so much to today’s successful exhibition debut.

Lastly, my sincere thanks go to the artists, Ms. Kunie Sugiura coming from New York and Mr. Keiji Uematsu and his wife Nobuko coming from Osaka. Their works, along with the pieces of Mr. Daido Moriyama who could not join us this evening, are representative of creativity, drive and even spirituality,  capturing the reality and spirit of the moment in the 60’s and 70’s and continues to be contemporary even today. Thank you very much Ms. Sugiura and Mr. Uematsu for honoring us by being here today.

Japanese people have a long tradition and love of photography. When I visit Europe for example, I can tell you that the people taking pictures on the street are usually either American or Japanese, and if not, at least their cameras are Japanese made. So many pictures are taken by Japanese people every day, and today, I am glad once again to be reminded that the top photographic artists in the world are Japanese.

Thank you all for contributing to this exhibition which documents critical moments in Japanese art and shares it with expanded international audience.  Houston is enriched by your efforts.