Tue – Sun: 9:30 – 18:00
Thursday – 10:30 – 19:00
Monday – day off
For the first time, artist Ikuru Kuwajima presents the legendary Japanese baseball player from Nizhny Tagil Viktor Starukhin in his hometown. Starukhin was born in Nizhny Tagil in 1916, and after the Russian Revolution, he left the country with his parents. In Japan, he started playing baseball and made a brilliant career in it. The exhibition features archival materials about Starukhin and Japanese-Tagil collages with imaginary scenes of the Japanese baseball star coming back to his hometown that he left during the civil war. Kuvajima's project coincided with the emergence of the first baseball team in Tagil. Thus, the Ural Industrial Biennial and the Sports Development Center jointly built a baseball field in honor of Viktor Starukhin on the initiative of the artist. It is located outside Nizhny Tagil, in the village of Gornouralsky, where the team is based. The artist documented the baseball field construction and take photos of the new Nizhny Tagil baseball players.
The exhibition space also displays a teaser of a documentary film about Starukhin, shot by the Bulgarian-American director Chavdar Georgiev; paintings by Starukhin's grandson, Terry Ogat, who lives in the US; and archival photos of Oleg Starukhin, a relative of Viktor Starukhin who remained in Nizhniy Tagil after the Revolution. Most of the photos of Starukhin were given by Natalia Starukhina, the daughter of Viktor Starukhin. She also wrote several books about her father.
About Viktor Starukhin
The legendary Japanese baseball player, emigrant Viktor K. Starukhin was born in Nizhny Tagil in 1916. After the revolution, Starukhin, his father Konstantin, a former tsarist officer, and his mother Evdokia left for Harbin and then emigrated to Japan in 1925. At school, he showed exceptional talent for baseball, which later became the most popular and commercially successful sport in the country. He joined the professional team before graduating from school in 1934.
During his twenty-year glittering career, Starukhin was the best pitcher in the league for a long time. He broke many records and input his name into the history of Japan. But shortly after the end of his career in 1957, he died in a car accident at the age of 40. Although Starukhin felt like a Japanese, he never acquired citizenship. After Starukhin's death, the baseball stadium Asahikawa, where he grew up, was named after him. To this day, the Japanese media have been talking about his great career and extraordinary life.
Nizhny Tagil Municipal Museum of Fine Arts, Nizhny Tagil, 4 Uralskaya Street