A World of Flowers ― from the Rimpa School to Contemporary Art
Yamatane Museum - Tokyo, KS Bldg.1F, 2 Sambancho Chiyodaku, Japan
Apr 22, 2017 to Jun 18, 2017
Detail: Nature in all its seasonal variations has long enthralled the Japanese. Flowers, each blooming in its season, are especially loved, both for their beauty and as motifs symbolizing the seasons in art, poetry, and prose. They capture the fascinated attention of artists, who continue to depict flowers today. The ways in which flowers are painted are also rich in variations: flowers by themselves, combined with birds or insects, or the flowers of the four seasons filling the picture plane. To celebrate spring at its height, our museum is holding a thematic exhibition on the subject of flowers throughout the seasons. Plum blossoms, cherry blossoms, peonies, roses, lilies, hydrangeas, morning glories, chrysanthemums, Chinese bellflowers, narcissus, camellias: Through the archetypical flowers seen in Japanese art, visitors may explore the rich world of painting, from the Edo period to our day.
During the Edo period, Rimpa school artists made the flowering plants and trees of the seasons their signature subject. For example, Sakai Hōitsu created an elegant world of flowers combined with scenery and birds in The Moon and Plum Trees or Chrysanthemums with Bird. Suzuki Kiitsu vividly presented the flowers of the seasons in rich colors in his Birds and Flowers of the Four Seasons. Rimpa school paintings, with their decorative picture planes, using lavish colors and gold grounds, and their fresh design sense have radiated unfading charm through the centuries. From the modern period on, artists have continued to express their mindfulness of the seasonal cycle and each season\'s natural beauty in their work. Consider, for example, Tanomura Chokunyū\'s A Hundred Flowers, which presents, in all the detail of an illustrated botanical dictionary, a hundred varieties of flowers from throughout the year, Okumura Togyū, Cherry Blossoms at Daigo-ji Temple, in which he depicted the magnificent weeping cherry trees at the Daigo-ji Temple\'s Sanbōin, or Kayama Matazō\'s Screen with Floral Fans, in which he used the traditional fan painting format in a folding screen, with fans studded with the flowers of the four seasons applied topasted on the screen.
In this exhibition, we present a diverse group of about 60 paintings depicting the flowers of spring, summer, fall, and winter: the museum will be in full bloom. The exhibition combines these works with fascinating materials on the characteristics of flowers, narratives and histories concerning them, and comments by the artists.
*All works mentioned above are in the Yamatane Museum collection.
Click here for further information on this posting