Jan 9, 2014

Jakuchū's Adorability and Shōen's Beauty : Kawaii in Japanese Art, at Yamatane Museum of Art, Shibuya, Tokyo

Jakuchū's Adorability and Shōen's Beauty : Kawaii in Japanese Art, at Yamatane Museum of Art, Shibuya, Tokyo

3rd January - 2nd March, 2014 | Yamatane Museum of Art, Shibuya, Tokyo

Growing interest in Japan's "Kawaii culture" has been making the term "kawaii," meaning cute, adorable, or charming, familiar overseas as well.
Reaching back over the centuries, we find that the Heian-period Pillow Book includes a section entitled "Adorable things," with a list that includes infants and baby sparrows. A culture that enjoys the charm and the evanescence of the small, the very young, the immature as "kawaii" has a long history indeed.

This exhibition focuses on "kawaii" as it has gripped people's hearts over the ages, and attempts to view Japanese art from the viewpoint of "kawaii".
Works whose subjects are children, with their innocent gestures and charming expressions, or other living things, including birds, insects, and the cats and dogs that are familiar parts of our lives: many make one say "Kawaii!" -- "Oh, how adorable!"

The Muromachi period (sixteenth century) (Tale of the Wisteria Basket; Suntory Museum of Art) depicts anthropomorphized monkeys in a simple style that makes us think of children's books. Itō Jakuchū, an Edo period artist, used his grid-painting technique in his Birds and Animals in the Flower Garden folding screen (Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art) to depict his subjects with great affection.

Modern Nihonga artists continue to capture charming moments in nature and in our daily lives.
In works such as Horned Owl (Yamatane Museum of Art), for example, Takeuchi Seihō observed animals tenderly, while Uemura Shōen's Girls Folding Paper Cranes (Yamatane Museum of Art) depicts girls innocently enjoying origami. The oil paintings by Kumagai Morikazu and illustrations by Taniuchi Rokurō have a gentle quality that we today would perceive as "kawaii."

This exhibition includes not only paintings from the medieval to the contemporary periods but a wide variety of other works, such as small cosmetics cases that capture the maidenly heart.
Through Japanese art, it examines not only the adorableness of outward appearances but the "kawaii" implicit in simple lines, colorful palettes, and humorous styles.

# For the details, please access to the followings;

[Seasonable Traditions & Japanese Culture] http://www.goldenjipangu.com/140106kawai.html
[Official Homepage of the Event]  http://www.yamatane-museum.jp/english/

Kawaii(かわいい) 日本美術 ―若冲・栖鳳・松園から熊谷守一まで―(山種美術館 東京都渋谷区広尾)

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