Art which explores lives of solitude and withdrawal from the public eye is to go on show in Wrexham, inspired by the story of Japanese actress Setsuko Hara.
Hara was a global film star at the peak of her career when she retired in 1963, announcing that she had never enjoyed acting and filmmaking, and moved out of Tokyo to live a life of seclusion.
Inspired by her story – and her decision to reject all requests for acting roles and film appearances for the last 49 years – Richard Bevan has chosen Setsuko Hara as the theme and title for a new exhibition at Glyndŵr University’s Oriel Sycharth Gallery.
13 works exploring the theme of seclusion and isolation will feature in the exhibition, which opens at the gallery on Mold Road, Wrexham, on Tuesday 22 January.
Richard, originally from Maesteg, said: “Setsuko Hara was a massive star – probably the biggest ever to come out of Japan – and there was shock and outrage when she moved out of Tokyo and retired. She must have had mega money offers to come out of retirement ever since but I’ve got huge respect for her integrity in saying no to all of them and refusing absolutely everything.
“I saw one of her films called Tokyo Story a few years ago and I was really curious about the character which she played in it. I began doing some research and when I found out more about Hara I thought it would be such an interesting theme for an exhibition.
“There is only one work depicting Hara in the collection but all of the works explore the idea of people who get to a stage in life where they’ve had enough and decide to turn their back on everything.
“I live in London, so when I was approached to curate an exhibition in Wrexham, this theme was perfect. It really adds to the idea of leaving the city behind and moving away from the limelight, which is so central to the story of Hara’s life.”
The exhibition features works by three Welsh artists, Brendan Stuart Burns, Rebecca Spooner and Anthony Shapland, who runs the G39 gallery in Cardiff.
Pieces by Chinese, Japanese, English and Norwegian artists are also included in the collection.
The exhibition runs from Tuesday 22 January to Friday 15 March 2013. A private view with light refreshments and an introduction from Richard Bevan is being held from 5pm to 7pm on Tuesday 22 January.
A book about Setsuko Hara’s life which has been produced by Bevan and Tamsin Clark will be on sale at the private view.
Oriel Sycharth Gallery is open at Glyndŵr University Wrexham between 9am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday. For more information call 01978 293306 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out about the gallery visit the website www.glyndwr.ac.uk/orielsycharthgallery