Photo/Illutration“Remains of Silk Road” by Ikuo Hirayama (Provided by the Kashiwa Board of Education)

  • Photo/Illustraion

KASHIWA, Chiba Prefecture--Ten previously unknown works of art by noted painter Ikuo Hirayama (1930-2009), including early examples of his Silk Road-themed work, will be shown to the public here for the first time in February, officials said.

The artwork, recently confirmed as those created by Hirayama, include depictions of Silk Road, his lifelong inspiration, that were drawn about 50 years ago, officials of the Kashiwa Board of Education said Sept. 13.

“They represent the ‘beginning of his Silk Road-themed paintings,’” according to one official.

Experts determined that Hirayama ranged in age from around 20 years old to his late 30s when he created the 10 works.

“They are precious works of art that we did not know existed,” said Toko Hirayama, deputy director of the Hirayama Ikuo Silk Road Museum in Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture.

The newly found works were among 11 owned by a woman in Tokyo who had been taught by Hirayama. Her bereaved family offered the pieces on loan to the board of education.

The three Silk Road-themed works, given tentative titles by experts, include a drawing in pastels in August 1968 titled “Silk Road no iseki” (Remains of Silk Road) depicting a mosque in Samarkand, the ancient capital of Uzbekistan.

The two others are colored-pencil sketches from 1966: “An old city of Ankara, Turkey” and “A woman in Berishirama village, Turkey.”

The deputy director of the museum said, “Remains of Silk Road” is “drawn in vivid colors and embodies the profound impression that struck him when he visited Silk Road.”