Shimomura Kanzan kept <em>nihonga</em> clean and cool

Jan 8, 2014

Shimomura Kanzan kept nihonga clean and cool

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Art can sometimes play a balancing or compensatory role in society, giving voice to neglected or superseded aspects of a culture. For example, the neo-feudalist ethos of Pre-Raphaelitism and the pastoralism of Impressionism developed against a backdrop of increasing urbanization and materialism. This can ...

The importance of being Yokoyama

Oct 23, 2013

The importance of being Yokoyama

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Big exhibitions of famous Japanese artists are usually held on important anniversaries of their birth or death. The Taikan Yokoyama exhibition now on at the Yokohama Museum of Art, however, breaks with this convention. Rather than marking the 150th, 100th or 50th anniversary of ...

Exploring Japan's ancient capital inside and out

Oct 16, 2013

Exploring Japan's ancient capital inside and out

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Beneath Kyoto, the destination par excellence of tourists, aesthetes, and historians, are the scars and ashes of a much older capital of Japan. Founded in 794 as the seat of imperial authority, after a devastating civil war from 1467 to 1477, the city was ...

Kansetsu Hashimoto's Chinese rebellion

Sep 25, 2013

Kansetsu Hashimoto's Chinese rebellion

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From the end of the Edo Period (1603-1867), Japanese art began to shift its fundamental cultural orientation from China to Europe. Kansetsu Hashimoto, however, (1883-1945) initially abjured, and this had much to do with his upbringing Born in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, his father was ...

<em>Nihonga</em>: without the hand over the eye

Sep 18, 2013

Nihonga: without the hand over the eye

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At its essential level, art is a battle between the eye and the hand; the first representing sensory input, the second artistic habit and convention. When the hand outweighs the eye, art can become over-stylized, clichéd, and eventually dead. Asian art has been particularly ...

'Hashimoto Kansetsu Retrospective'

Sep 11, 2013

'Hashimoto Kansetsu Retrospective'

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In honor of the 130th anniversary of nihonga (Japanese-style painting) artist Kansetsu Hashimoto’s birth, the Hyogo Museum presents around 70 of his most famous works. As a scholar of Chinese culture and history, Hashimoto’s artistic style mirrors that of traditional Chinese folklore, featuring elegantly ...