Overcoming is a unique visual arts project that combines creative efforts of young artists from Russia and Japan. The project’s curator is Semyon Mikhailovsky, Rector of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts.

Overcoming will be launched as an international exhibition on February 6th, 2018, in the Manege Central Exhibition Hall in Saint Petersburg. More than 120 works by young artists studying in Japanese and Russian art schools will be displayed for the first time as a part of the large-scale social-cultural project “Takeda. Pain and Will” aimed at supporting development of palliative care and new medical technologies.

Commenting on this project, Andrey Potapov, General Director of Takeda Russia, Head of CIS Area, said: “2018 is a very remarkable year for Takeda Russia. It is a year of cultural exchange between Russia and Japan. This year our company celebrates 25 years of operations in Russia. And this year the ‘Takeda. Pain and Will’ project will become international in scope. An important part of this project is the Overcoming exhibitions that will be arranged in Saint Petersburg and Moscow to support development of palliative care and new technologies in medicine and show the importance of these areas for our countries. I sincerely hope that both exhibitions will draw the attention of society and that the emotional language of art will encourage people to be more compassionate to each other.”

Takeda Russia is a marketing and sales organization of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, Osaka, Japan. For more than 25 years the company has been striving to bring better health and a brighter future to patients in Russia and CIS countries, and it is among the top 10 companies on the Russian pharmaceutical market. Takeda is represented in 135 cities all over the region and in 2013 opened its new state-of-the-art production site in Yaroslavl. As a responsible company, Takeda launches many social initiatives; among them is the “Takeda. Pain and Will” project to support development of palliative care and new technologies in medicine. Overcoming international exhibitions are a significant part of this project.

The exhibition will feature about 70 art pieces provided by Japanese students from two prominent universities — the Musashino Art University and the Tama Art University. Paintings, graphic art and calligraphy, videos and installations by these Japanese artists will occupy the entire first floor of the Manege in Saint Petersburg.

As viewers enter the show, they must work their way around immense wooden letters that spell out the name of the exhibition. These are an allusion to the work of Japanese artist and a graduate of Musashino Art University Kayoko Watanabe who has devised a system of wooden lettering based on traditional Japanese construction techniques that join pieces without the use of nails.

Art works created by students of the St. Petersburg State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture named after I.E. Repin (St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts) will be shown on the second floor. Most of these works will be displayed on artist’s easels. The idea of organizers was to create the atmosphere of learning workrooms in the Manege Halls to remind visitors that this exhibition presents a new generation of artists.

Works by three winners of the “Takeda. ART/HELP. Overcoming” art competition for students in Russian art schools and universities will form part of the Russian section of the exhibition. In 2017 more than 200 entries were submitted by students of art schools in 58 Russian cities. The exhibition will include pieces by Alexandra Bobkova, a student at the Sverdlovsk Shadra Art College; Arina Chetina, an architecture student at the Voronezh State Technical University; and Daniel Troyanov, an art student at the Baltic University of Ecology, Politics and Law in Saint Petersburg.


“These exhibitions supported by Takeda Russia give us an opportunity to see not only the talent of young artists, but also their sensitivity to social issues,” pointed out Semyon Mikhailovsky, curator of the project. “I believe that it is very important for artists to express their attitude toward life, to find a path to emotional engagement and social responsibility. The exhibitions at the Manege halls in both Saint Petersburg and Moscow will open new horizons for Russian and Japanese artists. A special display is devoted to works of Keito Yamaguchi, a Japanese artist and student of the Academy of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg. She is a key artist of the exhibition linking two different civilizations.”

Semyon Mikhailovsky finds that the project’s most meaningful processes were the collaboration with colleagues from Japan and the chance to talk directly with students from Japan’s two largest art universities while choosing among their works.

Musashino Art University (MAU) was founded in Tokyo in 1929 as a private school and was officially designated a university in 1962. Currently MAU is one of the largest art institutes in Japan with over 4,500 students in residence and about 2,000 distance learning students. The university’s diversified structure with courses of painting, printmaking, traditional Japanese painting, sculpture, architecture, fashion and every aspect of design enables instruction in various professional skills. MAU’s leaders are deeply committed to international involvement for the university.

“The Overcoming exhibition is part of the year of cultural exchange between Russia and Japan, and it offers a fine opportunity for young Russian and Japanese artists to show what they can achieve. The partnership programme established between the Saint Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts and Musashino Art University, which happens to coincide with the Academy’s 260th anniversary, will enable our students and instructors to visit the exhibition and get to know their Russian counterparts. This will mark a significant step in deepening our relationships and mutual understanding through art. We are very grateful to Takeda Pharmaceuticals Russia for their support, and we hope that this project will be a model for collaboration between Russian and Japanese young people, as well as a basis for future interactions,” said Tadanori Nagasawa, President of Musashino Art University.

“Freedom and Will” is the motto of Tama Art University, and it perfectly reflects the dialectical nature of the artistic process. Founded in Tokyo in 1935, Tama Art University specializes in the visual arts, design, multimedia, and scenic design and is regarded as one of the country’s most prestigious art institutes.

“We would like to express our deep appreciation to Takeda Pharmaceuticals, to Semyon Mikhailovsky, Rector of the Repin Saint Petersburg State Academy Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture of the Russian. We are confident that their works will be a bridge between Russian and Japanese culture,” said Akira Tatehata, President of Tama Art University.



Manege Central Exhibition Hall

1 Isaakievskaya Ploschad

The exhibition is open from 7th of February to 10th of March, 2018.

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