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In Spring 2009, Le Forum presented an exhibition devoted to Japan's former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa. Upon retirement in his early 60s, the former statesman began a new career as an artist, ceramicist and poet, exploring the traditional practice of Seiko Udoku.
'Seiko Udoku means “cultivating your garden when the sun shines and reading when it rains”', explains Morihiro Hosokawa. 'Oriental people see it as an ideal, perfectly attuned lifestyle. It's a philosophy that held great appeal for me as a young man.' As a journalist and politician turned artist and ceramicist, Hosokawa's work today includes ceramics, lacquerware, calligraphy and painting.
His most recent paintings go on show at the Forum in an exhibition entitled Shisei no Sankyo ('Retreat in the City'), produced by the Fondation d'entreprise Hermès. The works are presented in a specially-created setting – a landscape of Raku wood in rich, intense shades of black, punctuated by huge vases and ancient statues of Buddha. At the centre of the exhibition, the 'See you soon' teahouse by architectural historian Terunobu Fujimori welcomes visitors to a traditional tea ceremony.
Morihiro Hosokawa comes from an old family of Samurai warriors, collectors and artists. His colours, textures and materials are Inspired by the masters of Zen painting, and Western painters such as Cézanne, Monet, Van Gogh, Rouault or Renoir. For the current exhibition, the artist has created a Shigaraki ceramic plate with an equestrian design.