The “Hiraku Project” is conceived as a series of exhibitions introducing contemporary artworks by Pola Art Foundation Grant recipients. The exhibitions are to be held at the Atrium Gallery, recently established to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Pola Museum of Art. “Hiraku” translates as ‘open,’ in the sense of ‘responsive to new possibilities.’ The Hiraku Project’s inaugural exhibition, “Girls Start the Riot”, features artist Sai Hashizume.

Sai Hashizume’s paintings are characterized by precision and meticulously depicted themes concerning contemporary women and intimate items of clothing and shoes. She began her After Image series, her versions of paintings by traditional Western masters such as Botticelli and Caravaggio, when she returned to Japan after about five years in Europe. This exhibition takes its name from Hashizume’s Girls Start the Riot (2010-2011), a central painting in this series. In this work, three girls, whose faces are unseen, have unabashedly entered a Cézanne still-life scene. Hashizume selects the word ‘riot’ to describe their audacity and her intention is clearly to resist the traditions and authority of Western painting, while at the same time breathing new life and a contemporary sensibility into them. The exhibition introduces Hashizume’s painting Girls Start the Riot, a kind of declaration of her purpose, and works from the After Image series it launched.


Girls Start the Riot


Oil on wood panel

130.3×194.0 cm



Les amies


Oil on emulsionground

100×130 cm

Takamatsu Art Museum


This isn’t Happiness


Oil on emulsionground

80.4×60.7 cm

Private Collection


1. Girls Start the Riot 2010-2011 Oil on wood panel 130.3×194.0cm TAKAHASHI COLLECTION


2. Toilette des filles 2011-2012 Oil on wood panel 112.0×162.0cm Private Collection


3. Esther 2012 Oil on wood panel 100.3×72.8cm Private Collection


4. Two Sisters 2013-2014 Oil on wood emulsionground 162.0✕130.3cm The National Museum of Art, Osaka


5. RED SESSION 2014 Oil on wood emulsionground 162.0✕130.3cm POLA INC.


6. La fille de l’homme 2015-2016 Oil on wood emulsionground 100.0×72.8cm Private Collection


7. Les amies 2016 Oil on wood emulsionground 100.0×130.0cm Takamatsu Art Museum


8. This isn’t Happiness 2017 Oil on wood emulsionground 80.4×60.7cm Private Collection


9. Princess at Work 2017 Oil on wood emulsionground 60.7×45.6cm



“Girls Start the Riot”

October 1 sun, 2017 – January 8 mon, 2018

Organized by:Pola Museum of Art, Pola Art Foundation

Venue: Atrium Gallery, Pola Museum of Art In cooperation with imura art gallery