Japanese painter Koji Kinutani was born in 1943 in Nara. He studied at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and later at the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice to master classical and contemporary fresco techniques. In 1974, Kinutani became the youngest winner of the Yasui Prize, a touchstone for young Japanese painters, with his Portrait of Mr. Anselmo. Since then, his works have been awarded other important prizes such as the Nihon Geijutsu Taishō (Grand Prize for Japanese Fine Arts), Mainichi Art Award, and an award from the Japan Art Academy. He also designed the official poster of the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998 and installed public art on the walls of Shibuya Station in 2008. In 2014, he was designated a Person of Cultural Merit for his innovative contributions to Japanese culture and society. Kinutani has created uniquely energetic works by a rich variety of techniques. Recently, he has taken an interest in contemporary concrete painting. His new works incorporate a comic balloon as a synthesis of surréalisme and abstract expressionism.
Born in Nara, Japan
Graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music
Completed the mural painting course in the university’s graduate school and became a member of Dokuritsu Bijutsu Kyōkai (Independent Society of Fine Art)
Entered the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice and studied classical and contemporary fresco techniques under Professor Bruno Saetti
Awarded the 17th Yasui Prize (prize awarded to rising stars in the fine arts)
Studied in Europe as a trainee under the Artist Overseas Training Program (the present Overseas Study Program for Promising Artists) of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs.
Awarded the 19th Nihon Geijutsu Taishō (Grand Prize for Japanese Fine Arts)
Awarded the 30th Mainichi Geijutsu Prize (Mainichi Newspaper Fine Arts Prize)
Became a professor in the Art Department of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music
Commissioned to design the official poster for the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano and individual posters for seven different sports
Awarded the 57th Japan Art Academy Prize; became a member of the Japan Art Academy
Composed a ceramic relief, Kirakira Shibuya (Sparkling Shibuya), on the wall of Shibuya Station, celebrating the completion of Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line.
Started the Koji Kinutani Prize, sponsored by Mainichi Newspaper Company
Became professor emeritus of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music
Selected as a bunka kōrōsha (a Person of Cultural Merit) by the Government of Japan
Granted the 66th NHK Broadcasting Culture Award (by the Japan Broadcasting Corporation)
"Koji Kinutani Tenku Art Museum" opens on Umeda Sky Building Tower West 27th floor
"Koji Kinutani A Journey of Color and Imagery" held at The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto