09/02/2017

Åbning af Skagensmalerne i Tokyo (engelsk)

Kulturminister Mette Bocks tale til åbningen af ”Skagen: An Artists’ Colony” på National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo

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Your Imperial Highness, your Excellencies, distinguished guests.

It is a great honour for me to open the exhibition “Skagen: An Artists’ Colony in Denmark.”

I think there is one rule of friendship that we all follow:

To our friends, we give the very best.

And we show what we are most proud of.

And the Skagen Painters are considered among the finest of Danish artists.

It is only fitting that this exhibition will mark the official opening of this year of celebration of 150 years of friendship and diplomatic relations between Denmark and Japan.

By hosting a multitude of cultural events in both Japan and Denmark, we are honouring one-hundred-and-fifty years of cooperation in so many areas: Business, politics, culture.

Not to mention people to people. Because without people, there can be no friendship.

The National Museum of Western Art is known for housing the great masters.

To see the Skagen painters here is a special honour.

I wholeheartedly thank Mrs. Mabuchi and Mr. Murakami, the curators and museum staff for their hospitality.

A few weeks ago I attended the anniversary celebration in Copenhagen by opening the exhibition “Japanomania In The North”.

It was amazing to see how much Danish artists have been influenced by Japanese artists like Hokusai or Hiroshige.

Also, the Danish Design Museum right now has an exhibition called “Learning From Japan”.

We all grow stronger through exchange, whether it is in business, in politics or in the arts. 

The Skagen Artists as well grew stronger through mutual exchange.

They were not only individualists, but also a tightly knit “colony” of friends and families, who learned from each other.

Krøyer, a key painter in the Skagen colony, whose works are part of the exhibition, said:

"There is a particular atmosphere…, which I simply cannot resist. The moment the beach is bathed in peace and moonlight, I am down there with my sketchbook…”

Another element in the exhibition which I personally appreciate is the place that female painters had within the Skagen colony.

Anna Ancher and Marie Krøyer were married to two of the most prominent Skagen painters. But they also became artists in their own right.

When I observe their work, I ask myself, if their eyes caught something else than their male contemporaries?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter.

Simplicity and honesty permeate the works of the artists in the Skagen colony.

They depict everyday life among the fishermen in Skagen – and yet the paintings are pure magic.

I understand this atmosphere could perhaps be compared to the Japanese term "shibumi".

We have so much in common.

Thank you and enjoy the paintings.