1921 Gacho-kai Exhibition

Fig. 7. T.K. Gado, Family
Fig. 8. T.K. Gado, Rush Hour in Subway
Fig. 9. T.K. Gado, Rush Hour in Subway
Fig. 10. Masaji Hiramoto
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The Gacho-Kai exhibition featured Western paintings influenced by realistic techniques and modernism, as opposed to the works that pandered to Oriental tastes for commercial purposes that were criticized during the Japan Art Association’s exhibitions in the 1910s. As such, the exhibition was intended to showcase the work of Japanese who had studied art in the region and to introduce both the Japanese community and the American community in New York City to the ways in which they had mastered the techniques of Western painting.


Nichibei Jiho wrote:

“Mr. Hiramoto’s ‘Rodin,’ ‘Marshal Joffre,’ and ‘Marshal Foch’ are well executed in terms of the character and appearance of these great masters, and the compositional technique of ‘Rodin’ is simple, powerful, and elegant. ‘Marshal Joffre’ is a fine piece as a first work, with charm and beauty coming through. ‘Marshal Foch’ is a sculpture of great dignity and elegance.”

(“Independent Art Exhibition: A Short Review of Works by Gado, Hiramoto, Watanabe, and Shimizu,” Nichibei Jiho, April 1, 1922)


“Twelve painters and two sculptors belonging to the Japanese Artist’s Society of this City are giving an exhibition of fifty paintings, sketches, and sculptures in the Civic Club, 14 West Twelfth St., through November 21. All of these artists are devotees of Western art, with only one painting and one sculpture being concerned with Oriental life. Modernism attracts painters, as may be instanced in the case of Inaba Shotaro’s ‘Virgin,’ although his sketch of a little girl with very pink cheeks harks back to Victorian times. T.K. Gado’s ‘Traffic’ is Cubistic to a degree, but his ‘Family’ and ‘Chicken House’ have a touch of naïve humor that is amusing. Misaki Michio’s ‘Still Life’ is a photographically realistic study of apples in a glass dish placed against a Modernist background. The color is extremely attractive.”   

(“Japanese Artist’s Show”, American Art News, Nov. 8,1922)  


Nichibei Jiho wrote:

“I was pleased to see the fresh vitality of the exhibitors, who fully demonstrated their individuality and ambitions over the years, as well as their efforts to improve their tastes. The paintings were well arranged, and I thought it was one of the best art exhibitions in recent years”

(Touhenboku sei, “Yabu ni la mimi no ki, Gacho-Kai,” Nichibei Jiho, Nov. 18, 1922).