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Books and Arts Exhibition vol.1 “The beginning of a story lies at the intersection of images and words: From original illustrations in picture books to the great forest of imagination”

August 4, 2017 (Fri) to October 22 (Sun) 2017


Event name:
Books and Arts Exhibition vol.1 “The beginning of a story lies at the intersection of images and words: From original illustrations in picture books to the great forest of imagination”
ART MUSEUM & LIBRARY, OTA, Exhibition Rooms 1, 2, 3, slope ways and other spaces
August 4, 2017 (Fri) to October 22 (Sun) 2017
Mondays (Open on September 18 and October 9, national holidays, and closed the following Tuesday)


Admission fees:
General adult: 500 (400) yen; high school students and above, and people over 65: 400 yen; Free for junior high school students and younger.
※  Prices in brackets (400) are for groups over 20 people, ART MUSEUM & LIBRARY, OTA card holders or “Visit Ryomo Tobu Pass” holders.
Free for disability or rehabilitation certificate holders and one caregiver or attendant.
Free for accompanying family or caregivers of children under 15 on Ota Family Day (first Sunday of every month).
Organized by:
Ota City, Ota City Culture and Sports Promotion Foundation
Supported by:
Ota City Board of Education, NHK Maebashi, FM Taro, Ota Chamber of Commerce and Industry, FM Gunma, Gunma TV, Jomo News
Sponsored by:
Asahi Group Arts and Culture Foundation, Asahi News Cultural Foundation, Kao Art and Science Foundation
In cooperation with:
AdSystems Co., Ltd., Kaisei-sha Ltd., Kodansha, Fukuinkan Shoten, Recruit Holdings, Tobu Railway

Exhibition flyer


We all have fond childhood memories of listening to a family member or teacher reading us picture books. Our hearts would fill with expectation and excitement with every turned page as the story created by pictures and words would unfold. This experience was in fact a chance to discover unknown worlds and different perspectives and values.
This is the first exhibition of books and arts that ART MUSEUM & LIBRARY, OTA will continue to host, on the theme of “Various ways to experience books and arts”. For this first event, we will hold an exhibition centered on the imagination and creativity of pictures and words to reaffirm our position as a stronghold for picture books and children’s books.
To begin, in exhibition room 1, we will display all the original illustrations and text of four picture books: “Fuwafuwa” (Fluffy) written by Haruki Murakami with drawings by Mizumaru Anzai; Ryoji Arai’s “Ehon no Kodomo” (Children of Picture Books); “Korya Mate Mate” (Wait, Wait!) written by Hatsue Nakawaki with pictures by Komako Sakai and “Yorudesu” (Night Time) by The Cabin Company. Exhibit installation will be created by contemporary artist Takashi Nakajima who will guide the viewer through a world of imagination and creation. Exhibition room 2 focuses on novelists Yu Nagashima, Shin Fukunaga and Ota painter Aru Sunaga, each approaching illustrations and words from their unique perspective. On the slope connecting the first and second floor, painter Maki Ohkojima has created a long mural painting for this exhibition in which visitors can participate and continue the story.
Images and words are created by writers and painters together to make a new story. Take this unique opportunity and experience firsthand the excitement of creation and imagination.

Featured artists

Ryoji Arai, Mizumaru Anzai & Haruki Murakami, Komako Sakai & Hatsue Nakawaki, The Cabin Company, Takashi Nakajima, Maki Ohkojima, Aru Sunaga & Yu Nagashima & Shin Fukunaga


Exhibit composition and highlights

1. Imagination forest… Original picture book drafts (Exhibition Room 1)
This is an all picture book original draft by four authors representing contemporary Japan on the theme of “Forest of Imagination”. Each of these artists still fascinate many people with their completely unique expression. The diversity of static and dynamic, color and lines, graphic and expressionistic elements is the very diversity of the world of picture books or what we call the “forest”. The gallery space becomes a “Forest of stories” thanks to installer Takashi Nakajima who designed the composition of the venue.
Ryoji Arai, Mizumaru Anzai & Haruki Murakami, Komako Sakai & Hatsue Nakawaki, The Cabin Company, Takashi Nakajima

Works (all originals)

“Ehon no Kodomo” (Children of Picture Books) 

by Ryoji Arai. Kodansha

“Fuwafuwa” (Fluffy) written by Haruki Murakami 

with drawings by Mizumaru Anzai. Kodansha

“Korya Mate Mate” (Wait! Wait!) written 
by Hatsue Nakawaki with pictures 
by Komako Sakai. Fukuinkan Shoten

“Yoru Desu” (It’s night time) 
by The Cabin Company. Kaisei-sha

2. When pictures meet words… A collaboration of writers and painters (Exhibition room 2)
Words inspired by pictures and pictures inspired by words. Yu Nagashima ― haiku poet, manga critic and Akutagawa Award winning writer ― and Shin Fukunaga ― a writer profoundly acquainted with contemporary art who has won the Shoyo Tsubouchi Prize ― together with Ota City born painter, Aru Sunaga collaborate to realize a synergy of images and words. Nagashima and Fukunaga are also deeply involved in the composition of the exhibition as well as a limited-edition booklet for this exhibition. In this exhibition room only, exhibits will be switched during the event (First series: August 4 – September 10; Second series: September 12 – October 22).
Aru Sunaga, Yu Nagashima, Shin Fukunaga


Aru Sunaga [I can see your face clearly], 2015, artist’s collection. ※ Exhibited during the second series of exhibits.

[Special Exhibition] Maki Ohkogima “A recollection of 4.6 billion years” (Slope)
3. Never ending story- On to the next story teller… Mural painting and related workshop room (Exhibition Room 3)
Maki Ohkogima creates paintings that tell stories. For this exhibition, she produced a new mural painting called “A recollection of 4.6 billion years”. The 4.6 billion-year-old story of the magnificent life on Earth unfolds on a 14m long slope wall.
Exhibition room 3 is turned into a workshop where visitors can imagine and create “the next story”, based on keywords related to Ohkogima’s world of “A recollection of 4.6 billion years” such as “light”, “land”, “water”, “fire” and “sun” scattered around the room.
Featuring: Maki Ohkogima

[Special exhibition] Works

Maki Ohkogima, [A recollection of 4.6 billion years] (in progress), 2017, about 6,000mm, artist’s collection.

(Never ending story ― On to the next story teller) For illustration purposes only.

Artist profile

Ryoji Arai
Born 1956 in Yamagata Prefecture. He won the JBBY Award with “The Sun Organ”, the Sankei Children Publishing Cultural Awards Grand Prize with “It’s morning, so I will open the window” and the Japan Picture Book Award “Round Moon in the Sky”. In 2005, he became the first Japanese to be awarded the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Literature Award and he is currently highly acclaimed both inside and outside Japan. He also created the opening illustration of the NHK TV drama series “Jun to Ai” and has worked as artistic director of the “Michi no Oku Art Festival Yamagata Biennale 2014”.
  Mizumaru Anzai
Illustrator born in 1942 in Tokyo. After graduating from Nihon University’s School of Arts, he worked for Dentsu, ADAC (NY design studio), and as art director at Heibonsha, then turned freelance. He was awarded the Asahi Advertising Award, Mainichi Advertising Award and more. He wrote many picture books, novels and essays and also devoted much time to nurturing the next generation of illustrators. He died March 19, 2014, at the age of 71.
Komako Sakai
Born 1966 in Hyogo Prefecture. She won the Japan Picture Book Award for “The Fox Spirit” (written by Kimiko Aman), the Bratislava World Picture Book Original Painting Gold Medal for “Friday Sugar”, and the Italian Natiper Leggere Award for “Wait! Wait!”.
Author photo
The Cabin Company
Picture book writer team: Kentaro Abe and Saki Yoshioka, both born in Oita prefecture in 1989. In addition to picture books, they also produce paintings, three-dimensional objects, animation, etc., and use various media outlets to create a unique world view. They received the TURNER AWARD 2010 Future Prize, and the 7th Japan Doga Awards Second Prize. Main works include “Ikataro the Giant Squid” (Suzuki Publishing / 20th Japan Picture Book Awards Readers’ Award), “It’s Night” (Kaisei-sha / 8th Children’s Picture Books Awards in Kyushu), “The Hokohoko School” (Shogakkan) and many more. Currently, they work in a former elementary school in Yufu Oita, which they turned into an atelier.
Takashi Nakajima
Contemporary artist born in 1972 in Tokyo. He graduated from Kuwasawa Design Institute Photography School in 1994 and lived in Berlin in 2001. He received grants from Tekisuiken Culture Promotion Foundation (2014 and 2016). Through his installations, he creates spaces where the individual and the public intersect, where people meet, communicate, discover new ideas, and become part of the work. His works also aim to become part of the people.
Maki Ohkogima
Painter born in 1987. She completed a Master’s Degree in the Graduate School of Joshibi University of Art and Design in 2011. Through painting, she tries to internalize new perspectives of her surroundings including birds, trees, fungi, minerals and monkeys and tell their stories. She received the 2014 VOCA Honorable Mention. She spent time in India, Poland, Mexico, the French Maritime Research Ship Tara, etc. She painted the ceiling of Minamisawa Hikawa Shrine in 2017, and produced the 88 constellations for Tama Rokuto Science Museum’s planetarium. She plans to hold a production workshop at Fuchu City Museum of Art, and exhibit “Tomorrow’s Harvest” at Aomori Prefectural Art Museum.
Photo by: Laura Yokozawa
Aru Sunaga
Painter born in 1989 in Ota City, Gunma Prefecture. She completed a Master’s course in painting at Tokyo University of the Arts’ Graduate School of Art. Currently, she paints mainly at Kodai Collaborative Studio in Ibaraki Prefecture. Main exhibitions include solo exhibitions “Anata no kao ha, yoku mieru (I can see your face well)” (un petit GARAGE, 2016), “Aru Sunaga Solo Exhibition (T-Art Gallery, 2015), “PASSAGE” (Bambinart Gallery, 2013) “Contemporary Art Foundation CAF Award Exhibition” (HOTELANTEROOM, 2016), and “Art Students’ Contemporary Art Exhibition Produced by Mr. X” (KaikaiKiki Gallery, Hidari Zingaro, 2010). Major awards comprise TERRADA ART AWARD 2014 Best Award, and CAF ART AWARD 2014 Jury Special Award.
Photo by: Tomonori Ozawa
Yu Nagashima
Born in 1972, he debuted as a novelist in 2001. In 2002, he received the 126th Akutagawa Award for “Mou Supiido de Haha wa (With Great Speed, Mother)”, in 2007 the 1st Ouei Award with “Yuko-chan no Chikamichi (Yuko-chan’s Shortcut)”, in 2014 he received the 2nd Keiji Literature Award with “Toi no Nai Kotae (The Answer to No Question)” and in 2016 won the 52nd Tanizaki Award with “San no Tonari wa Gogoushitsu (No. 5 is next door to No. 3)”. He was also among the writers selected for the 22nd Opening Passage Novel Awards sponsored by Masakazu Amahisa. His novels include “Mou Umaretakunai (I Do Not Want To Be Born Anymore)”, “Ai no Youda (It Feels Like Love)”, but he also wrote essays like “Minakatta Eiga (Films that I Did Not See)”, “Anzenna Mousou (Safe Delusion)”, poems such as “Haru no Ojigi (Spring Bowing)”, and manga like “Fukinshin chan” “and “Nagashima Yu Mangaka Keikaku (Yu Nagashima’s Manga Plan)”.
[Author image] Fujiko Fujio Ⓐ
Shin Fukunaga
Born in 1972, he debuted as a novelist in 1998. He received the Z literary award in Eureka’s special feature “Literature Awards A to Z” in 2004 with the short story “Koppu to Koppepan to Pen (Mug Cup, Bread Roll and Pen)”. He wrote novels like “Akurobatto Zen’ya (The Night before Acrobatics)”, “Appu Appu (co-authored with Kyoko Murase)”, “Hoshi Kara Mita Chikyu (Earth Seen From Above)” and “一一一一一”. He also wrote an essay collection called “Seiza to Bungaku (Constellations and Literature)”, a children’s contemporary art anthology titled “Konnichi wa Bijutsu (Hello, Art)” and a contemporary novelist anthology that includes Yu Nagashima titled “Shosetsu no Ie (House of Novels)” for which he received the 4th Keiji Literature Award in 2016. In 2015, he received an honorable mention at the 5th Waseda University Shoyo Tsubouchi Awards.
[Author image] Name Surname