Hello everyone. I am Shibuya Ryoji, the director of the Toyama Glass Art Museum.
We opened the “Toyama Glass Art Museum” focusing on contemporary glass art in the redeveloped “TOYAMA KIRARI” building in Nishicho in August 2015.
Toyama has made broad and diverse efforts in the field of glass art at “Glass Art Hills, Toyama”, which lies in the city’s Furusawa and Nishikanaya district, while working under such themes as the cultivation of the talent of glass artists and the industrialization of glass. Moreover, Toyama has been dealing in glass art for 30 years not as a producer of glass for tourists but as a community development by means of glass.
As for the nurturing of the talent of glass artists, I myself have engaged in the community development by means of glass, from the foundation of the Toyama City Institute of Glass Art to the present, by helping to guide students aspiring to become glass artists. From here on, I would like to convey the appeal of glass as art to everyone who visits Toyama city from both inside and outside the country as museum director.
As a facility where the progress of the community development by means of glass up to this point has been gathered, I would like for this art museum to convey the potential charm and future which contemporary glass art holds not just to Japan but to the world.
The special features of this museum are, first off, that it specializes in contemporary glass art and that it perfectly matches the wavelength of the efforts at glass art in Toyama up to this point, those efforts that have produced glass artists at the Toyama City Institute of Glass Art.
The method of exhibition is also an important special feature. We don’t just display collected glass artwork in a quiet environment. Since we intend to display artworks that possess a strong communicative power to the world, we have put in place an installation (spacial art) made by Dale Chihuly’s Chihuly Studio in the “Glass Art Garden.” Dale Chihuly is a leading figure of contemporary glass who has even become a symbol of the museum.
From here on, I would like make the two institutions of “Glass Art Hills, Toyama”, a place for the creation and experience of glass art and for the self development of glass artists, and the “Glass Art Museum”, a place for the admiration of superior museum art pieces and for the creation and dissemination of new structural representations, inseparable from each other.
Moreover, I would like to gather together the diverse possibilities possessed by glass art, such as the possibility to develop talent, for industry, for the artist to support himself independently, for the admiration of art, and for the diffusion of art, and in doing so advance the community development by means of glass all the more.
While it has not been all that long since I was inaugurated as museum director, I will do my very best, along with all of the staff, so that the charm conveyed by glass art may be felt by many people. I will do this based on my foundation of knowledge and my long experience in being engaged in Toyama City’s community development by means of glass up to this point. I sincerely hope that all of you will come to visit the museum.
1981 Graduated from the Department of Sculpture at Tama Art University
1984 Graduated from the Graduate School at Tokyo Glass Art Institute
1986 Graduated from the Glass Department at Gerrit Rietveld Academie (Netherlands)
1990 Toyama City Institute of Glass Art Secretary general for installation logistics
Toyama City Institute of Glass Art Chairperson
2015 Appointed as director of the Toyama Glass Art Museum