Dynamism and Modernity
Umezaki is vice president of German Securities Limited in
Tokyo and head of Corporate Real Estate & Services/Security. He has been
responsible for taking care of the Deutsche Bank Collection in Tokyo
since July 2003. Andre Kunz spoke with him on the origins of the
collection in Tokyo and the reactions among staff to the concept “Art in
Toshihiro Umezaki next to a photograph by Yukio Nakagawa, Hakuchu No Zamuza,
Andre Kunz: Herr Umezaki, do
you like art?
Toshihiro Umezaki: Yes, I’ve been interested
in art since childhood. I used to love to draw and paint.
You’ve been in charge of the art collection of Deutsche Bank in Tokyo since
July 2003. Have you already had some time to become acquainted with the
Umezaki: I’ve already become familiar with
some of the most important works on the various office floors. But I
will certainly need several more months to acquire more detailed
Kunz: You have around 350 works in your
collection. When were these works acquired?
greatest part was purchased for the move to this building in the middle
of 2000. In the process, many Japanese works were purchased, which make
up almost two thirds of the collection.
Kunz: Do you work
together with a Japanese institution when buying the Japanese pictures?
Umezaki: Not directly. We hired an art consultant, Yoshiko Isshiki, who
was responsible for choosing the works. Mr. Hütte, the director of the
art department in Frankfurt, advised us on the works of the
German-language artists. Ms. Isshiki and Mr. Hütte then planned the
presentation of the works in our rooms together.
you have a special budget for purchasing art?
works by German-language artists come from the Frankfurt collection and
were bought there. For the acquisition of works by Japanese artists,
money from the Deutsche Bank Real Estate department was made available.
The Japanese works for the most part stem from young emerging artists.
They are meant to convey dynamism, modernity, and reliability.
Kunz: As the head of the art collection, do you also have contacts
to the art scene in Tokyo?
Umezaki: Only in part. I know a
few young artists. In the future, however, I plan to seek out more
Kunz: How do staff react to the concept “Art in
Umezaki: Although I’ve only been
here for a short time, I’ve noticed that the staff here are sensitized
to the value of art, thanks to the many works hanging in the hallways
and offices. This is rather unusual in Japan. As a rule, workplaces are
without decoration and furnished functionally.