The museum houses the masterpieces of Nissho Kanda, a painter who died young
The Kanda Nissho Memorial Museum of Art showcases half of the masterpieces of Japanese artist Nissho Kanda (1937 – 1970), who created powerful oil paintings on an ongoing basis while farming in Shikaoi Town. To honor his achievements, the Town of Shikaoi built the museum in 1993 as a municipal symbol of art and culture with an exterior inspired by the shape of the eastern Taisetsu Mountains.
The museum highlights the works of Nissho, who identified himself as a farmer and an artist as opposed to a farmer artist, as well as his life and historical background. It also hosts thematic exhibitions featuring a wide range of other artists, and plays a significant role as a facility that continues to develop in step with the local community by holding concerts and other events and engaging in efforts to present the art history of the local Tokachi region.
The first-floor exhibition space permanently displays Nissho’s last and unfinished masterwork entitled Horse as well as other oil masterpieces (including Bunkhouse Scene, Still Life and Studio C), self-portraits, practice pieces and other exhibits. A chronological record of his life and portraits along with the inclusion of his beloved painting knives among his mementoes provide a reminder of the artist’s unique techniques.
A variety of pieces centering on Horse, his final work
A walk up the wide staircase (staircase lifting device) takes visitors to a variety of artifacts including sketches, esquisses, sketchbooks and notebooks. Part of Nissho’s atelier is reproduced here along with photo panels to give a glimpse into the real life of this farmer and artist.