Honda is proud to partner with the Smithsonian American Art Museum in the first comprehensive, domestic overview of Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s work in over 65 years.
The “Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrates the career of one of America’s great modernist painters. Sixty six of Kuniyoshi’s finest works reveal the unique vision of an extraordinary artist.
Though separated by time, Honda and Kuniyoshi share similar stories of traveling far from home to seek out new dreams, and ultimately, finding success in the United States.
After coming to the United States as a teenager in the early years of the 20th century – and despite being labeled an “enemy alien” during World War II – Kuniyoshi was able to defy negative sentiment and triumph in the American art world. He challenged conventional ideas, blending American folk art with Japanese influences as only he could.
Sharing Kuniyoshi’s journey, in 1959 Soichiro Honda sent a group of eight associates to set up operations for the company’s fledgling motorcycle business in a storefront shop in Los Angeles, California. The success of Honda’s motorcycles in the U.S. eventually led to the introduction of automobiles. Today, the company has a major U.S. presence with 11 manufacturing facilities in six states, 14 research and development facilities, and nearly 30,000 employees, building everything from cars to race engines to jet airplanes.
“Like Kuniyoshi-san, our journey in America is built on what we call ‘The Power of Dreams,'” said Takuji Yamada, president of Honda North America. “These dreams inspire us to create innovative products that enhance human mobility, and ultimately, benefit society.”
The “Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum opens April 3 and runs through August 30, 2015. Additional information can be found at americanart.si.edu/kuniyoshi.