Dr. Shin-Ichi Fukuoka, widely known in Japan as a huge fan of 17th century Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, is now starring in a marketing campaign for the re-opening the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis. The museum is home to one of the world’s most outstanding collections of Dutch Golden Age paintings, including the Girl with a Pearl Earring.
Dr. Fukuoka, who has also made a name for himself as the originator of the “re-create” approach to the digital remastering of art, travelled to The Hague, Netherlands, to complete filming for his starring role. The short film sees him making the trip from his apartment in New York City—where one of his re-create images of the Girl has pride of place on the wall, to the Mauritshuis, where the original Girl resides. On entering the gallery, Dr. Fukuoka sees that he’s been beaten at his own game; here, everything has been re-created apart from Vermeer’s iconic painting. The tagline—“Discover the original at the Mauritshuis”—is another well-played reference to Dr. Fukuoka’s “re-create” project.
“I take my hat off to the Mauritshuis”, says Dr. Fukuoka. “They’ve taken the re-create concept and run with it. I certainly never thought that I would be able to sit in my own lounge next to the real Girl”. Although he has pioneered exhibitions of re-created Vermeers in Japan, Dr. Fukuoka stressed that his intention has never been to replace the originals with replicas. “Going to see original Vermeers in the museums which house them is something which gives me great joy. I’ve even written a book about my journey around the world to visit as many of the extant Vermeers as possible [Vermeer: Realm of Light, published by Kirakusha, in Japanese]. So it’s wonderful to see the Girl back in the beautifully renovated Mauritshuis”.
Vermeer: Realm of Light, Dr. Fukuoka’s exhibition of re-created versions of all 37 recognised Vermeers, continues to travel around Japan, only recently closing its doors in Nagoya after a five week residency. In the meantime, Dr. Fukuoka continues to pursue his research on Vermeer; he is currently working on uncovering further evidence to support his hypothesis about a friendship between Vermeer and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, a contemporary of Vermeer, born in the same small town of Delft, who is renowned today as the father of microscopy.
Dr. Shin-Ichi Fukuoka appeared on Kunstuur (Art Hour), on Dutch national television, on June 22, talking about his love for Vermeer and his role in the marketing campaign the re-opened Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis.
This special programme about the new and remodeled Mauritshuis in The Hague, Netherlands, took a look at the gallery’s world-famous collection, which includes Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer. Now the building has been doubled in size and a number of new facilities added. In the programme, Dutch historian Maarten van Rossem talks about the history of the Mauritshuis and a number of prominent guests from politics, arts and culture–including Dr. Fukuoka–introduce their favorites from the collection.
Dr. Shin-Ichi Fukuoka, the molecular biologist behind the Re-create concept, has been invited to be part of the marketing campaign surrounding the re-opening of Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague, the museum which houses Vermeer’s best loved masterpiece, Girl with a Pearl Earring. The Mauritshuis has been undergoing a two year renovation, and will be opening to the general public on June 27 2014. You can watch a teaser of his advert, scheduled to be broadcast on Dutch TV to promote the re-opening, above.
Discover more about Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis and its collection here.
Dr. Shin-Ichi Fukuoka, the man behind the Re-create concept, was recently featured in the New York Times. The article talks about Dr. Fukuoka’s profound love for Vermeer, and how it has inspired him to arrange, wherever possible, his busy career around exhibits of the 37 artworks acknowledged to be by the artists. Being in New York allowed Dr. Fukuoka to enjoy the a very rare show at the Frick Collection: the “Vermeer, Rembrant, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Paintings” show, in which the Frick’s resident three Vermeers were joined by 15 additional works by Dutch artists, including Vermeer’s very own Girl with a Pearl Earring, on loan from their permanent home in the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague, Netherlands.
Read the article here