Democratic Artists Association (Demokurato)

Demokurato Bijutsu Kyokai (Democratic Artists Association) was formed in Osaka in 1951. At the time, many Japanese artists were presenting their works through the Independants Exhibitions or the screened Kobo-ten. This period when great power was held by the Kobo-ten also saw the formation of many smaller groups that made and exhibited their art independently. One of these groups that was prominently against Kobo-ten was Demokurato.

Q Ei's declaration of formation for Demokurato does not mention the group's philosophy. However, the goal was for artists to be able to assert themselves without worrying about authority, so the group's activities emphasized individual creativity. Demokurato was formed in Osaka, but their base expanded to Tokyo in 1952 when Q Ei moved to Urawa.

Q Ei, with the condition of not belonging to any public organization, became the central figure of the group, and many artists gathered together. While the group consisted of many painters, the designer Hayakawa Yoshio and photographer Hosoe Eikoh also presented works as members of Demokurato. There you could see Q Ei's philosophy that there should be no hierarchy in the means of expression. 

Demokurato's main activities included group exhibitions and a magazine. They held 6 group exhibitions in Osaka and 6 in Tokyo, and published up to No. 10 of their magazine.
In 1954, "Demokurato  Etching Exhibition  Q Ei, Kato Tadashi, Izumi Shigeru 3 Man Show" was held in Osaka, and Q Ei and other members of Demokurato took up hanga. Including that factor, 10% of the artists invited to the first Tokyo International Hanga Biennale were members of Demokurato. Q Ei once told the printmaker Yoshihara Hideo, "A painter cannot express themselves freely unless he can use oil, watercolor, and printing as equal means of expression".

In 1957, 7 years affter the start of their activities, Izumi Shigeru won the Newcomer's Prize at the first Tokyo International Hanga Biennale. Spurred on by this, the dissolution of Demokurato was announced the day after the opening of the Biennale. Following their dissolution, the former members continued to present their individual works to the world.

(Text: ICHIKAWA Ayana)

Members: Ay-O, IKEDA Masuo, IZUMI Shigeru, ISOBE Yukihisa, IYAMA Tadayuki, IWAMIYA Takeji, UCHIDA Kohei, UCHIMA Toshiko (AOHARA Toshiko), UTSUMI Ryuko, Q Ei, ODA Shigeru, ONOSATO Tomoko, KATO Tadashi, KAWARA On, GUNJI Morio, KOUNO Toru, SUGIMURA Tsune, TAKAI Yoshihiro, TANAHASHI Shisui, TSUSHIMOTO Sadamu, TSURUOKA Hiroyasu, TONEYAMA Kojin, HAYAKAWA Yoshio, HARUGUCHI Mitsuyoshi, FUKUSHIMA Tatsuo, FUNAI Yutaka, FURUYA Reiko, HOSOE Eikoh, MATSUO Akemi, MIKI Hideo, MORI Kei, MORI Yasu (MORI Yasuko), YASUDA Toshiyuki, YAMASHIRO Ryuichi, YAMANAKA Yoshikazu, YOSHIDA Toshitsugu, YOSHIHARA Hideo

Snapshot of an IZUMI Shigeru exhibition (left to right, Q Ei, KATO Tadashi, KUBO Sadajiro, HAYAKAWA Yoshio, YAMASHIRO Ryuichi, FUKUSHIMA Tatsuo, IZUMI Shigeru)
("DEMOKURATO 1951-1957  Liberated Post-War Art" Exhibition)
HAYAKAWA Yoshio"3rd Demokurato Exhibition Poster" 53.0×37.0
("DEMOKURATO 1951-1957  Liberated Post-War Art" Exhibition)

IZUMI Shigeru

Color lithograph
Ed. 100

"move by rainbow an animale!" #13
Mixed media

Q Ei
"Communications Museum A"
Oil paint
*"Q Ei Collection" (1997, Nihon Keizai Shimbunsha) p.42


110th Anniversary 30th Q Ei Exhibition Photo-dessins and Stencils Sep. 03 [Fri.] ― Sep. 25 [Sat.]

Gallery Collection of Summer - Q Ei, TAKIGUCHI Shuzo, ONOSATO Toshinobu June 29 [Tues.] ― July 10 [Sat.]

29th Q Ei Exhibition May. 8[Fri.]― May. 30[Sat.]

ART BASEL HONG KONG 2019 - 28th Q Ei Exhibition Mar 27 Wed. - Mar 31 Sun.

27th Ei Q Exhibition Jan 08 Tues. - Jan 26 Sat.

Uchima Ansei and Uchima Toshiko Exhibition July 17 Tues. - Aug 10 Fri.

Eikoh HOSOE Photo Exhibition Oct 31 Tues. - Nov 25 Sat.

Circles - The end of the circle is its beginning Jan 18 Wed. - Feb 4 Sat.

Ansei UCHIMA Exhibition August 25 Tue. - September 5 Sat.
Toshinobu ONOSATO Exhibition From early representational paintings to the later years July 25 Sat. - August 8 Sat.
26th Q Ei Exhibition - Search for Light May 16 Sat. - May 30 Sat.

Eikoh HOSOE Photo Exhibition - G a u d i - October 8 Wed. - October 25 Sat.
25th Q Ei Exhibition - Q Ei and Sadajiro KUBO June 11 Wed. - June 28 Sat.

24th Q Ei Exhibition -Q Ei and Shuzo TAKIGUCHI- October 26 Wed. - November 2 Sat.
Eikoh HOSOE Photo Exhibition -Embrace- September 11 Wed. - September 21 Sat.
23rd Q Ei Exhibition May 17 Wed. - June 1 Sat.

Q Ei Exhibition January 13 Fri. - January 21 Sat.

No.208)    Photo Collection II of Mr.X    10/21 - 10/29
No.199)    Eikoh HOSOE Photo Exhibition    3/18 - 4/2
No.206)    21st Q Ei exhibition "Fragment of 46 light / Paper pattern in photo-dessin"    9/9 - 9/7
Gallery's Collection "Kisaragi"    2/8 - 2/26
Gallery's Collection    1/5 - 1/8.

No.192)    20th Q Ei exhibition Yoshitomo NARA x Q Ei "Departure of an artist at age 24"    9/11 - 9/18
No.191)    Charm of Gelatin Silver Prints II "Noir et Blanc"    8/27 - 9/4
WEB Exhibition Eikoh HOSOE    08/16 - 09/15 (Japanese page)
No.186)    Photo Exhibition "The NUDE"    4/13 - 4/24

No.182)    Eikoh HOSOE - New Edition "Kamaitachi"
Part 1: 2009/12/15 - 12/26 / Part 2: 2010/1/6 - 1/16

No.171)    19th Q Ei exhibition "Q Ei and 8 painters of his period"    2/6- 2/28

No.169)    Rediscover The Beauty of Prints    12/12 - 12/2
No.167)    Photo Collection "Fall in Love with The Photographs"    10/31 - 11/8
No.158)    Eikoh HOSOE "Homage to GAUDI"    5/9 - 5/31

No.149)    Exhibition of Photographs "Body and Soul" Part1    10/5 - 10/13
No.143)    18th Q Ei exhibition    5/18 - 6/2
No.141)    Eikoh HOSOE "UKIYO-E PROJECTIONS"    3/16 - 3/31

No.134)    17th Q Ei exhibition    9/15- 9/30

No.120)    16th Q Ei exhibition / TOKINOWASUREMONO 10th anniversary    7/8 - 7/30

No.115)    15th Q Ei exhibition / Artist's departure 1936    8/17 - 9/11

No.108)    14th Q Ei exhibition    12/12 - 12/25
No.105)    13th Q Ei exhibition -Q Ei and his surroundings-    7/4 - 7/12

No.94)    12th Q Ei exhibition -Photo-dessin stencil exhibition-    2/1 - 2/16

No.84)    11th Q Ei exhibition    6/15 - 6/30

No.77)    10th Q Ei exhibition / from "Reason of Sleep" to stipple    12/1 - 12/16
No.67)    9th Q Ei exhibition -After 40 years of his death / Oil painting-    5/10 - 5/25

No.61)    8th Q Ei exhibition -Little devils (Copper print)    10/8 - 10/23
No.56)    7th Q Ei exhibition -Photo-dessin    5/24 - 6/9

No.50)    6th Q Ei exhibition -Q Ei and Toshinobu ONOSATO    12/4 - 12/19

No.38)    5th Q Ei exhibition -Celebrating the publication of "Q Ei works collection"    12/12 - 12/27.
No.35)    Sadajirou KUBO and writers 1 -Exhibition celebrating the memorial publication of "Talking about Sadajirou KUBO" / Shuzou TAKIGUCHI, Tamiji KITAGAWA, Q Ei, Shigeru IZUMI, Yuki KATSURA, Tadashi KATOU, Ryuichi YAMASHIRO, Toshiko UCHIMA, Henry Miller, Toshinobu ONOSATO, Koushirou ONJI, Yoshitoshi MORI and others    10/24 - 1/11

No.19)    4th Q Ei exhibition -Photo-dessin    10/30 - 11/9
No.16)    3rd Q Ei exhibition    7/10 - 7/27

No.13)    2nd Q Ei exhibition    5/13 - 6/1
No.11)    1st Q Ei exhibition    3/6 - 3/23

No.1)    Etching slection 1 / Kiyoshi HASEGAWA, Tatsuoki NAMBATA, Q Ei, Tetsuro KOMAI    6/5 - 6/18

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