About Ikuo Hirayama

About Ikuo Hirayama

Career

The road to becoming an authentic painter of Japanese-style paintings

Through the good offices of Seison Maeda and his wife, they were able to hold their wedding ceremony at the Reinanzaka Church in Tokyo in 1955. Michiko had already won an award in the In-ten but she stopped painting when she got married based on the advice of Seison that two painters could not exist in one family.

When he was still a fourth-year student at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, Seison Maeda was seconded to the post of professor at the school, which later became the Department of Fine Arts of the Tokyo University of the Arts under the new system of education. After graduating, Hirayama started a career as a painter of Japanese-style paintings in earnest, working as a junior assistant under the direction of Seison Maeda. He entered the (In-ten) exhibition held by the Nihon Bijutsuin (Japan Arts Institute) for the first time in 1952 with a work in which he had confidence but the work was eliminated in the competition.
The work in question, entitled “Ieji (Homeward Bound),” is in the possession of the Hirayama Ikuo Museum of Art. Ikuo Hirayama later recounted that this rejection was a valuable experience for him as a painter.
He started painting a new work with the same name and composition, also called “Ieji (Homeward Bound)” on the same day he was apprised of the rejection and, in the following year, he entered the In-ten again with the work. (This “Ieji” is currently in the possession of the Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum.) After that, he continued to win awards and became associate of the Nihon Bijutsuin (Japan Art Institute) in 1955.
His works won awards one after the other at exhibitions, from the Nihon Bijutsuin Award (Taikan Award), to the Encouragement Award and the Minister of Education Award. His work was exempted from examination for admission in the In-ten in 1961 and he was recommended as a member of the Nihon Bijutsuin in 1964 at the young age of 34, establishing his position in the art world. During this period, he married Michiko Matsuyama in 1955 and had a son and a daughter.

The letter from his father Mineichi to his master Shinichi Tani with father’s glatitude

Through the good offices of Seison Maeda and his wife, they were able to hold their wedding ceremony at the Reinanzaka Church in Tokyo in 1955. Michiko had already won an award in the In-ten but she stopped painting when she got married based on the advice of Seison that two painters could not exist in one family.

With his family

Hirayama accompanied Seison Maeda on a visit to Taikan Yokoyama in Izusan, Atami for New Year’s greetings, with his colleagues of the Japanese painting study group of the Tokyo University of the Arts. (1953)

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