Download Sport Guide
Arts & Entertainment
Download TV Guide
Submit an Event
The Jolly Lama
Those Camera Guys
Inspirasie viri Nasie
Life in the Slow Lane
Looking for a Car?
250-year-old Japanese paintings to be shown
INTERNATIONAL NEWS - A 30-scroll set of nature paintings from the 1700s that is owned by Japan's royal family and considered a cultural treasure is being shown in its entirety for the first time outside of the country at an exhibit in Washington.
The "Colorful Realm of Living Beings," created more than 250 years ago by artist Ito Jakuchu, consists of intricate paintings of birds, flowers, insects, fish and other animals on vertical silk scrolls. It opens to the public Friday at the National Gallery of Art and will be on view through April 29.
For only the second time in 120 years, the nature paintings are paired with Jakuchu's "Sakyamuni Triptych." In this piece, three Buddhist deities overlook the bird-and-flower paintings to serve as the exhibit's centerpiece. The pairing evokes the original religious context of the nature paintings as objects of worship, curators said.
Since 1889, the fragile silk scroll paintings have been held in separate locations. The nature paintings were donated to Japan's royal family and held ever since by the world's oldest monarchy. The Buddhist triptych is held at the monastery where Jakuchu originally left his works.
Even though his masterpieces are kept mostly out of view to help preserve them, Jakuchu has become Japan's most famous pre-modern artist, said guest curator Yukio Lippit, a Harvard University professor of Japanese art. While his works were famous around the time they were painted, his achievements were later forgotten to a certain extent.
"Awareness of the painter has risen again only in recent years," Lippit said.
Beyond Japan, the United States is one of the only places where Jakuchu's works have been recognized and presented, Lippit said. In 1904, the Japanese pavilion at the St. Louis World's Fair featured a room adorned with his works.
This new four-week special exhibition celebrates the centennial of Japan's gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the U.S. in 1912 as a symbol of friendship. Other rarely seen works by Japanese artists also are on display at the Smithsonian's Sackler Gallery of Art to mark the occasion.
On Monday, four Zen Buddhist monks from the Shokokuji Monastery in Kyoto where Jakuchu left his paintings held a blessing ceremony to complete the exhibit's installation in Washington. They burned incense, chanted prayers dedicated to the Buddha, and one monk knelt before the Buddhist paintings. Their prayers were dedicated in part to honoring the artist's family and calling for world peace.
Jakuchu's painting style in "Colorful Realm" was both experimental and classical when he painted the scrolls between 1757 and 1766. He borrowed from traditions of Chinese bird-and-flower painting but also experimented with color. He took the traditional Japanese palette of about 20 colors and carefully mixed, shaded and layered his pigments. Perhaps most notably, Jakuchu applied paint to the backside of the silk to be visible from the front in a muted way through the silk weave.
"What we are witnessing on the front is due in considerable part to what's going on behind the surface of the painting," Lippit said. "There's a strategic process ... to create an effect of a kind of subterranean glow and inner life to the work."
Curators have discovered new details about his techniques through conservation of the scrolls and research in the past decade. A recent analysis discovered synthetic Prussian blue dye in one of the scrolls, which would be the earliest known usage of this European-imported dye in East Asia.
Earl A. Powell III, director of the National Gallery of Art, said the Japanese were eager to partner for the exhibit even after the devastating earthquake in the country just one year ago. Japanese Ichiro Fujisaki said the exhibit was a priority because of his nation's special relationship with the United States.
Masayuki Inoue, the deputy director for cultural affairs at newspaper publisher Nikkei Inc., which co-organized the exhibit, said it was an expensive undertaking to transport and insure the historic paintings for exhibition thousands of miles from their homes, though he would not disclose the cost.
Showing such cultural treasures from Japan would be similar to touring the works of Leonardo da Vinci or other great European painters, he said.
"Even for Japanese eyes," he said, "it may be 50 years (before) you can see this again."
Source : Sapa
10:04 (GMT+2), Tue, 27 March 2012
you will be directed to the registration page. Once you have completed the registration process, please return to this page.
New Zealand Dollar
Get your free daily horoscope + free daily forecast below.
Choose your zodiac sign:
March 21 - April 19
September 23 - October 22
April 20 - May 20
October 23 - November 21
May 21 - June 20
November 22 - December 21
June 21 - July 22
December 22 - January 19
July 23 - August 22
January 20 - February 18
August 23 - September 22
February 19 - March 20
In future Detroit, USA, abandoned brick apartment buildings from better...
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
This family comedy follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander (Dylan...
Dolphin Tale 2
The November Man
Former CIA operative Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) is brought back...
More Movie Trailers >
Air hockey is one of everyone's favorite challenges! Represent your...
Mini Pool 3
This is the most advanced edition of the popular online version of Pool...
In this Digital Domino Game all the rules are the same as the real game....
The classic mind-wracking math puzzle game is now online! With a brad new...
More Games >
Did you know swimming is prohibited in the Garden Route Dam?
I wasn't sure
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 70.
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 39 and 69.
View more profiles...
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 43.
View more profiles...
Copyright © 2014 Group Editors Co PTY Ltd t/a George Herald