Stained Glass "Paean for the Trees" / Original Painter : Zenjiro Chikaoka / Central concourse outside Ticket gate, JR Sendai Station / Installed on June 8, 1978
Zenjiro ChikaokaWestern-style PainterThis is the first time for me to make stained glass, and I was much interested in it. Since I thought that I would be in charge of the sketch only at first, I was a little bit annoyed when I had to make the original painting also, honestly speaking. On the other hand, I understood well that the painter has to do it to make a good work. As the work progressed, the differences from the painting that comes from the fact that the material is transparent glass have also become clear. I think that was a good lessen for me as well as a difficulty to be overcome. More than anything, I enjoyed working together with Mr. Louis Fransen of shaping and Mr. Otake of stained glass production. Painters are usually doing lonely work alone. In that sense, I am happy that I got the opportunity to meet the fun and wonder of the unknown world.
Since I have heard that this work will be decorated at Sendai station refurbished lately, I am honored as a Tohoku person. Although some sights and specialties of Sendai are taken as the theme, I intended to express what I felt, saw and heard when I myself went to Sendai for coverage on the screen. Altough it took a very long time for collaborative production, it was not a lot of trouble for me if compared with the enjoyment at the production process.
I have heard that a stained glass made from the work by Mr. Zenjiro Chikaoka will be decorated at Sendai Station of Tohoku Shinkansen, and will be completed soon. Although I have seen only the original drawing, I am expecting that it will surely become a good specialty at the station and give beautiful impressions on the eyes of travelers.
It is made up with synthesizing Sendai climate into the dynamic and gorgeous compositions including the splendid Tanabata decoration of Sendai specialty at the center, the horse-riding statue of Masamune Date, and the landscape of Matsushima. I guess that various colors such as red, vermilion, yellow, purple, green, blue, and white must be doubled by the effect of stained glass.
Mr. Zenjiro Chikaoka (1914-) came from an old family in Shinjo, Yamagata prefecture, and is a person who entered the painting world while studying under Hakutei Ishii and Ikuma Arishima at Art Department of Bunka Gakuin in Tokyo. Since Ishii and Arishima were both the founding members of Nika association and the founders of Issuikai which was established in 1936, Mr. Chikaoka continued to exhibit his works at Nika association and Issuikai, and steadily extended his works. He studied in Europe from 1956 to the following year, and he started giving wide impressions about his ability to the painting world, when he received the 6th Yasui Award in 1962. The work at that time covered "Shrine maiden", a traditional folklore style custom, and it gained much attentions since a warm affection and a keen observation eye are added to sincerity and simplicity which is typical of him in the work.
After that, Mr. Chikaoka published a sketch collection with high aroma, "Travel with Western-style Houses", in which Meiji era's Western-style houses still remaining all over the country were portrayed elaborately, and he held emotional exhibitions which caught a lot of fans' eyes and hearts. It is significant that Mr. Chikaoka, the painter who has sincerity in nature and elegant feeling, worked on the decoration of a memorable stained glass this time. I think Mr. Chikaoka's work is worthy to bring a hearty artistic atmosphere to Sendai Station, the gateway of Tohoku for Shinkansen, which can be said to be a crystal of modern new technology developed remarkably.
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