Ceramic Relief "Sun and Child" / Original Painter and Producer : Kojin Toneyama / Installed on April, 1982 (Currently not exhibited) See Original Painting
Kojin ToneyamaArtist, PainterThe history of a port town Yokohama has always adopted new winds and opened towards the future. And now Yokohama station is about to transform by the large undergroung passage connecting the east and west. When you stand at the station head and watch the flow of people, you will find that their vitality is amazing. I first stuck with the charm of Yokohama consisting of Yamate district and the port area in the mural art concept. Then I drew many sketches through walking over and over there, but only time went by. My hesitation was swept away by a word of a senior who is a Yokohama local resident. "Yokohama should be a new town and a forward-looking town for a long time. Although people tend to run into a nostalgic way when they hear Yokohama, please draw Yokohama in the future and Yokohama which is loved by young people, if you create a mural art."
The composition of this mural art is compounded by three themes with the thought to Yokohama in the bright future.
In the center there is a symbol of the shining sun and moon. I arranged a ship, a constellation, a compass, etc which are open to the world on the right side, and arranged a mother and child image as the main on the left side. A child is a symbol of the future. Whatever the time will change such as to the future city or to the outer space, the original form of mother and child is the basis of human life. The child on her shoulder touches his mother's face with his right hand and stretches out his left hand upward. I put a image of a man with a pallet behind the mother and child image in order to emphasize the mother and child image.
The ceramic relief was made with Shigaraki soil, fire and glaze. While repeating trial and error many times in order to respond to the Japan Traffic Culture Association's passion for public spaces for many years, I was apparently able to make it with a bright and modern feeling of the initial objective. I took advantage of the flaming color which is the feature of Shigaraki ware for the mother and child image. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Luis Nishizawa, who came to Japan to produce a ceramic board at Keisei Ueno Station Concourse, Mr. Louis Fransen, Head of Modern Mural Arts Institute, and Mr. Tamio Hibari, a potter, for their advices and exchanges at the site Sigaraki, and Modern Mural Arts Institute staff for their gratifying cooperation in production. I hope it will become a light for a morning refreshingness and a hope for the future at Yokohama station.
This time, a ceramic mural by Mr. Kojin Toneyama has completed at the west exit of East-west free passage of Yokohama Station, and will appeared soon. I am pleased that a powerful speciality appears at Yokohama station following the one by Mr. Nobumichi Ide at the east exit which was born earlier.
Mr. Toneyama was born in Tokyo in 1921 and graduated from Faculty of Literature, Waseda University in 1943, so he is a little bit different from so-called general painters. In particular, he received the Order of the Aztec Eagle from the government of Mexico in 1972, and his accomplishments by his efforts to introduce, disseminate and reevaluate Mexican culture in Japan are remarkable. There are his writings such as "Maya", "Ancient Mexico Rubbed Copy Collection", "Mexican Folk Craft" and "Mexico Mandala", and the grand Maya rubbed copy, which was once collected by him independently, was made public at the National Museum of Modern Art, etc. and gained much attentions.
It is also known that Mr. Toneyama is trying to promote mural art in Japan as a person who understand and sympathize with the mural art movement in Mexico. He showed his talent on every building at Seitoku Gakuen in Matsudo City and also completed a masterpiece of ceramic mural "Devil Sword Dance and Deer Dance" at Shinkansen Kitakami Station. Mural arts present one influential passage to the open public stage against contemporary paintings that seem to have entered the blind alley, so to speak. Mr. Toneyama is a good artist to fulfill such a powerful mission.
The screen of this work is huge with 15m and 4m, taking the Mexican magnificent dynamic sense, with the concept to look at the bright future such as a mother and child image on the left, the sun in the center, the world map on the right. Among them, a sailor walks, nuclear power is instructed, a Western-style building, a citrus and a child are arranged. And a seagull that reminds us of the sea, a sailing ship, a compass, the Great Dipper, etc. are also drawn. I guess he tried to represent Yokohama's hope and vitality, which is now moving towards the new city of tomorrow. It is a Mr. Toneyama's typical work.
Station Manager, National Railways Yokohama Station
East-west free passage, which was a Yokohama citizens' wish and was a "dream" of us, those involved in Yokohama station, has completed. Even this one is a tremendous pleasure, this time as a commemoration of its completion, a truly wonderful mural art has been completed, and it is impossible to forbid the feeling that "Yokohama station has changed" both in name and reality. I heard that Mr. Kojin Toneyama, the foremost authority of the mural world in Japan, worked on this work enthusiastically. Since it is full of brightness and pleasures that symbolize the future of Yokohama, I am extremely glad that it is suitable for our station which has made the 2nd start. I am expecting that the passengers or elementary and junior high school students will visit it for an art tour, since it is a powerful work which stands out from afar. We apologize for any inconveniences during construction, and we hope this work would be a return gift. I would like to express my sincere gratitude on behalf of the station to Mr. Kojin Toneyama, the painter, Japan Traffic Culture Association, the planner, Takashimaya, the sponsor, and many other cooperators.