Fine Japanese Works of Art

Fine Japanese Works of Art

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 73. Azuma Kenjiro (1926-2016) | MU-750 | 1975.

The Property of a Lady

Azuma Kenjiro (1926-2016) | MU-750 | 1975

Lot Closed

September 29, 03:11 PM GMT


6,000 - 8,000 GBP

Lot Details


The Property of a Lady

Azuma Kenjiro (1926-2016)


Showa period, 20th century

bronze, signed in Roman script Azuma and numbered 2/3, 1975 

45 cm., 17¾ in. wide

Azuma Kenjiro (1926-2016) was born in Yamagata city, Japan. In 1961 he joined the Movimento Punto, established in Milan by the Chinese-born abstract painter, Hsiao Chin, (b.1935), as a representative of Japan and as the only member using sculpture as their main creative medium. After joining the Tokyo University of the Arts in 1949, he travelled abroad to Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in 1956, commencing his time in Italy where he remained for six decades. In 1960, Kenjiro joined the workshop of the famous Italian artist Marino Marini (1901-1980), who repeatedly reminded him: “Azuma, remember that you are Japanese…”. Following his master’s advice he decided to empty his studio of all the work he had created until then, beginning on a personal artistic quest that had its roots in an “unconstructed beauty, something that can only be felt by a Japanese; iron that is rusting, a house that is falling apart, the invisible element that is behind material, the full and the empty…” These reflections on the meaning of infinity and the life cycle brought him to the realization of his first bas-reliefs entitled MU.

Mu is the Japanese character for 'nothing'. MU-750 is a representative piece in the series; its abstract shape containing prominent geometric elements. Its surrealistic undertones are characteristic of the Punto Art Movement, while visually echoing other Italian sculptors of his time such as Arnaldo Pomodoro (b. 1926) and Marino Marini himself. 

In 1963, Kenjiro was awarded the Japanese National Museum of Modern Art prize, followed by a touring exhibition across seven major museums in the United States.

For another example of the artist’s work in the collection of the Vatican Museums, inventory number 22970, go to: