Friday, November 25, 2011

Artworks of Sakai Houitsu

I went to Himeji city museum of art last month. They exhibited the work of Sakai Houitsu, Japanese Painter in the 18th century. This year is the 250th anniversary of his birth, and many museums held exhibitions of his work which were selected from Japanese collectors' collections.

He was the second son of the family of old Himeji's Daimyo, the feudal lord, so this museum made a big exhibition series at the month. Himeji is in the west part of Japan, but he was actually growing up in Edo, which was in the east part of Japan and the actual capital city at that period. At that period, families of some Daimyo had to live in Edo city, because the governor called it them to prevent from riot. Sakai Houitsu created his work there, the biggest city in Japan. In addition, the job of family as Daimyo was taken charge by his elder brother. It made him enable to spend a lot of time for art and make connections with many artists and poets in Edo.

At the beginning, he preferred to paint beautiful women as known as Ukiyo-e style painting or ordinal Japanese painting such as flowers, landscapes. After that, he found the artwork by Ogata Korin, who was a Japanese painter in 17th century. Houitsu was strongly impressed by Korin, the creator 100 years before for him.

Korin’s way of art was different from Japanese traditional way of painting. For example, they laid weigh on the construction of things, flowers, trees and creatures on a screen, with their own intention. They sometimes used even abstracted shape of creatures. It was like a modern graphic design. Houitsu learned a lot of things from these old art and improved them by his own sense of art.

I’m very interested in this process. My profession is digital creation, making digital animations, designing web site and developing software. I think I can learn something for it from the past art and how Houetsu created art with his background. Off Couse, I also enjoy the beauty of his artwork.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The source of modern art of Japan

A large closed up moon appears in the center of the first scene. The moon emits silver light. There are some flowers and leaves of bush clover left under the moon. The scene scrolls to right, then some bunch of bush clover are showed one after another making lines like waves and reflect the silver moonlight. The bunch of bush clover changes vain as the scene is scrolling, and leaves of vain are closed up, took far and close up again like beating out a rhythm.

In another creation, you are in a bamboo forest and you look at some golden bamboos as closely as you can see their joints. The scene scrolls to right, then you look a plum tree and blossoms. Two long branches have grown leftward like guiding you. You walk left over turf and find some bunch of azalea on the ground. Azalea’s flowers look like bowing you. You go ahead and find the golden vine leaves hang down from above the scene. You go the leaves closely, and the leaves occupy the full of scene.

There could be these kinds of expression in modern artistic movies. Actually, these are my explanation of the Japanese old picture scrolls. They were created by Tawaraya Sotatsu and Hon-ami Koetsu in the 16 century in Japan. Koetsu wrote some quotations of Japanese old poems with his calligraphy and Sotatsu painted what I explained above under these poems on the scrolls. They made the same kind of artwork as a series. Japanese deers or cranes are used as motif in other artworks. These motifs were painted more abstractly than realistically, and it effects the expression of poetic space in the scrolls.

I was impressed that the creations created in the 16th century have had the exactly modernized feeling, so I considered that they could create them by a kind of their predictive or future-minded ability. However, I changed my opinion recently. I think that the modern feeling that we are calling has already begun in this period. We can find one of sources of our modern art creation feeling in their artwork.