Landscape with cranes in Tokyo from tomorrow until February 1

Exhibition announcement

It is a very special pleasure to announce the 18th International Art Exhibition (Art beyond boundaries) opening. This exhibition takes place at the National Art Center Tokyo, from January 21 until February 1.

Once more the world of ink painting comes together in one common place – Japan. This is an extraordinary effort from the organizing team in Japan. They prepared an exhibition that can be safely visited, and virtually shared with ink painters abroad

winter door

My contribution

My contribution to this year’s exhibition is a large summer landscape with red-crowned cranes (grus japonensis). Nearly 1m tall and 1.80m wide the landscape is titled “Dedicate, serve, take flight”. The Japanese version reads “houzuru, tsukamatsuru, izuru”「献上する、仕る、出づる」. The work is a playful word and visual take on the Japanese word for crane – tsuru. The image shared here is a detail, depicting “tsukamatsuru“.

crane detail
Detail from “Dedicate, serve, take flight”, Japanese ink on paper, 2020

The tancho tsuru (丹頂鶴), as this species is known in Japan, is one of the most revered birds in Japanese culture. As such, it is frequently depicted in ink painting. I spent months researching hundreds of images of scrolls, sliding doors, screens, wildlife photography, as well as creating smaller studies. Some of the studies even “took over” my zen Mondays weekly feature.

crane study
Study of Rosetsu Nagasawa cranes, brush pen on paper, 2019

All of this to create a new composition. One which is rooted in the legacy of ink painting masters, and also presents a contemporary view. Today this endangered species remains bound to the marshlands of Hokkaido.

landscape cranes
Summer landscape with cranes “Dedicate, serve, take flight”, Japanese ink on washi, 2020

Work details

This landscape was painted on Awagami‘s Kozo Thick Natural washi. It was very fortunate that the team of skilled papermakers continued to supply artists overseas in 2020. I used only black ink and vermillion ink to express the full range of colors visible in the birds. A very special thank you goes out to master Kobayashi Tohun for an extensive exchange throughout the year on the composition development.

You can see some portions of my work in progress on this instagram highlight story:

“cranes wip” (available to instagram users only)

winter garden

How to visit

All the exhibition details available at:

https://www.nact.jp/english/exhibition_public/ (English)

http://tohun.la.coocan.jp/bigoe.html (Japanese)

Please visit individually and follow the instructions on-site to keep safe.