The Song of Koumi



with gratitude to the kougen museum of art, the Horiuchi family and the people of Koumi, whose warm welcome and generosity sustained me on this journey as guest in their Majestic Land - a place of pure Inspiration.



About the artist

Richard Hoare, based in Dorset, UK, has been painting in the nature surrounding Koumi for the last two years. Loading all materials into his van, he painted in sunshine, rain or cold (in two of the ink paintings you can even see the frost making crystals where the ink froze before it could dry). The nature of Koumi sang to him and he captured the verses on linen and paper, eventually creating the Song of Koumi.



about the museum

Koumi (meaning ‘Little Sea’) is a town in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan. This is where you’ll find the Koumi-Machi Kougen Museum of Art, an impressive work of architecture by the renowned Tadao Ando. Surrounding this gem of a town are the mountains, lake and forests in which Richard Hoare has been painting for the last two years. Keeping in mind this museum which Tadao Ando created, Hoare has created a few pieces inspired by the space (for example the 5.6 meter drawing of ‘Descending Light in Tengudake Forest’, which was unveiled one month after the opening of the exhibition).

Of invaluable help has been the hard work of director Junichi Natori, curator Minoru Nakajima, Yuka Nakajima and Mihoko Shinohara, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude.



about the frames

The frameworks of the ink drawings, monotypes and watercolours are made of a special wood which was gifted to us, of an oak tree which grew in the Suwa Shrine of Oyazawa, Koumi. A relatively young tree for a shrine, but still quite large with a diameter of over 80 cm. The frames are assembled without any nails and made by local woodworker and friend Atsushi Takahashi.