Ryonosuke Shimomura: An eclectic rule breaker

Art / Events Nov 27, 2019

Ryonosuke Shimomura: An eclectic rule breaker

by Matthew Larking

At school, Ryonosuke Shimomura conceived art techniques that led one teacher to think he was color blind. Yet his unusual approach led him to become a principal of the Pan Real Art Association — Japan's influential avant-garde Japanese-style painting groups.

The Osakan artists who bucked the system

Art Jun 11, 2019

The Osakan artists who bucked the system

by Matthew Larking

Osakan paintings have conventionally emphasized regional traits of humor, boisterousness and fun. "Do You Know Osaka Painting Circles" at the Shokado Garden Art Museum, however, reminds viewers of its farther flung painting traditions.

First, there was Matsumura Goshun

Art Apr 23, 2019

First, there was Matsumura Goshun

by Matthew Larking

The recent focus on the vibrant idiosyncratic works of the Edo Period (1603-1868) eccentric painters has left the achievements more traditional masters in neglect. "Road to Shijo School" at the Otani Memorial Art Museum, Nishinomiya City, is a welcome reparative.

Tanaka Isson: Better late than never

Art Aug 21, 2018

Tanaka Isson: Better late than never

by Matthew Larking

Limited success in Tokyo led Tanaka Isson (1908-77) to burn his sketchbooks, sell his house, and move to Oshima, where he lived in near poverty painting in a vibrant style that posthumously captured the nation's heart.

When art met craft in Meiji Era Japan

Art 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

Art 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

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'

Art / Openings Outside Tokyo 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 ...