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When art met craft in Meiji Era Japan

Apr 3, 2018

When art met craft in Meiji Era Japan

by Matthew Larking

The focus of "The 150th Anniversary of the Meiji Period: Making and Designing Meiji Arts and Crafts" at The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, concerns the relationship between nihonga (Japanese-style) painters of Kyoto and craft production during a time when craft and design ...

Motonobu: The father of Kano styles

Oct 24, 2017

Motonobu: The father of Kano styles

by Jeff Michael Hammond

A family-run enterprise, the Kano school of painting was a consistent force in Japan's art world for more than 300 years, from the Muromachi Period (1336-1573) up until its fortune waned in the 19th century. "Celebrating a Decade in Roppongi, Kano Motonobu: All Under ...

Straddling East and West in art

Jul 25, 2017

Straddling East and West in art

by Jeff Michael Hammond

Hybridity and eclecticism may be key concepts in much contemporary art, yet they are not new phenomena. In the Taisho Era (1912-1926), Tetsugoro Yorozu virtually personified the idea of hybrid art: As Japan rushed toward modernization, he not only experimented with the very latest ...

'Tomioka Tessai Retrospective'

/ Mar 8, 2016

'Tomioka Tessai Retrospective'

by Daisuke Kikuchi

March 12-May 8 Described as the last artist to paint bunjinga (literati painting, influenced by traditional Chinese culture) and as one of the first to pursue nihonga (Japanese style painting), Tessai Tomioka (1836-1924) left behind many masterpieces. These include shinkei-zu paintings of scenery that he ...

Painting women of Japan

Jun 2, 2015

Painting women of Japan

by Alice Gordenker

Ask an art lover to name Japanese women artists active before the 20th century, and chances are they'll draw a blank, despite the fact that many highly accomplished women were painting in far-earlier times. Fortunately, there is now rising interest in understanding the lives and ...

Korin: the late bloomer with innovative in style

May 5, 2015

Korin: the late bloomer with innovative in style

by Sachiko Tamashige

One of the joys of visiting Tokyo's Nezu Museum in early May, is to catch the annual showing of one of the museum's most famous works, Ogata Korin's "Irises," before stepping outside to appreciate the real irises blooming in its garden. This spring, Korin's "Red ...

Nihonga didn't ignore the West

Feb 26, 2015

Nihonga didn't ignore the West

by Matthew Larking

From the early 1880s, painting in Japan became bisected. Yōga was used to categorize works in oils that were inspired by European painting movements and nihonga became the umbrella term for a whole array of earlier Japanese painting traditions that were later modernized. The division ...

'Seiho Takeuchi'

/ Feb 5, 2015

'Seiho Takeuchi'

by Daisuke Kikuchi

Last year marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Seiho Takeuchi (1864-1942), a pioneer of nihonga (Japanese-style painting), whose influence on the genre helped it develop even further from its traditional restraints. Having traveled around Europe for seven months when he was 36, Takeuchi ...

Less meant more to Shunso Hishida

Oct 16, 2014

Less meant more to Shunso Hishida

by C.B. Liddell

It's no secret that the Japanese art world was going through major changes at the end of the 19th century. On the one hand, there was a flood of Western art styles, called yōga, offering exciting new possibilities, while, on the other, there was ...

The Uemuras were not quite like mother, like son

Jun 18, 2014

The Uemuras were not quite like mother, like son

by Matthew Larking

Shoko Uemura (1902-2001) was born to Shoen Uemura, the most revered and financially successful female painter of the early modern period, who arguably did more to popularize the bijinga genre (pictures of beautiful women) than any other. Artistically, however, his mother is said to ...