1993.8.26 - 9.26
Chimei Hamada Exhibition
The Japan Gallery of the British Museum

British Museum
British Museum
Boss / etching / 27.2×19.5cm / 1980
Boss / etching / 27.2×19.5cm / 1980
A Song of Love / etching / 20.0×19.5cm / 1957
A Song of Love / etching / 20.0×19.5cm / 1957


Chimei Hamada Exhibition was held at the Japan Gallery of the British Museum in London from Aug. 26th to Sep. 26th in 1993. The British Museum is one of the largest museums in the world and houses over seven million objects. It was established in 1753 and has its great history, so the one-man show was in the news as an important achievement.


The exhibition was realized through full coordination with Lawrence Smith, the keeper of Japanese Antiquities of the British Museum. Mr. Smith highly appreciates Chimei Hamada as one of the three greatest caricaturists in the world ranked with Goya in Spain and Dauchez in France. The article below is the critique of Chimei Hamada by Mr. Smith on CHIMEI HAMADA COMPLETE 1993 (published by KYURYUDO, 1993), the catalogue made to commemorate the exhibition.


"It is almost too painful to look for long at the prints of Hamada Chimei, so great is their intensity of feeling and so dense yet economical his pictorial technique. As the years pass and his early works come under the more detached scrutiny of history, this intensity seems only to grow, uncannily like the graphic work of Goya, who must be seen as Hamada’s spiritual ancestor. One wonders, gazing for even few minutes at his early masterpiece, Elegy for a New Conscript; Sentinel, how the artist could himself bear the emotional pressure of working for the hours and days it took to perfect the original plate, reliving at every second, one cannot doubt, the horrible tragedy of his early experiences.


Much of the best Japanese graphic art of the generation after 1945 has hidden intensity, a sense of frightening emotion carefully controlled but still radiating the invisible electricity generated at its heart. This is not surprising when one considers the terrible events of the Pacific War. But in the case of Hamada, what is truly astonishing is that he almost alone among artists seems to have been able to face these things directly and without evasion. Throughout his career, he has successively examined with an impassioned openness the emotional wastes of human beings under the colossal stresses of the horrors of war, the pathos of the truly mad, the bewilderment of the neurotic, and the emptiness of modern urban life.


These are his great and compassionate themes, but he also casts more satirical glances at the direct exploitations of people by each other, such as abuse of company power in Boss or the mutual deceptions of sexuality in A Song of Love.


To meet the serene, gentle person who is Hamada Chimei today is both a delightful experience and an awe-inspiring one. One wonders how a man who has clearly suffered so much internally can in person communicate such a sense of peace. The answer, possibly, lies in the very clarity of scrutiny which he has bestowed on the haunting themes of his work, and the ultimately healing efforts of that process. For there is no bitterness in the work, for all its starkness, and the overwhelming impression from Hamada’s complete, though not large oeuvre, is of compassion.


It is customary for critics from any culture, when faced with the work of a modern Japanese artist, to try to define his or her Japaneseness. For Hamada this would be an irrelevance and one might say almost an insult. He is an artist of the world, speaking to the world, and there is no doubt that the world will cherish him as such more and more as the history of art is written with the perspicacity which the passing of time gives." [Lawrence Smith: Keeper of Japanese Antiquities, The British Museum, London]



この展覧会は大英博物館・日本美術部長ローレンス・スミス氏の全面的な協力によって実現されました。スミス氏はスペインのゴヤ、フランスのドーシェと並んで浜田知明を世界の三大風刺画家として高く評価しています。以下は同展覧会を記念して作製された『浜田知明作品集<コンプリート 1993>』(求龍堂、1993年)においてのスミス氏による浜田知明批評文です。














  • 大英博物館
  • ボス / エッチング / 27.2×19.5cm / 1980年
  • 愛の歌 / エッチング / 20.0×19.5cm / 1957年