Kanazawa-inspired paintings on display in Tokyo from January 27

International ink painting exhibition announcement

It is always a keen pleasure to announce the 19th International Art Exhibition (Art beyond boundaries) opening. This exhibition takes place at the National Art Center Tokyo, from January 27 until February 7.

For the second year in a row, the world of ink painting comes together in Japan mostly through its artworks. The organising burden on the local team remains very high. Their passion and dedication has sustained ours over the last two years. I sincerely hope the time where I can thank everyone in person for their efforts is now drawing near. For those lucky enough to be in Tokyo, I recommend you visit the exhibition. Please do so individually when possible, and follow the guidance from the hosts on-site.

My contribution in 2022

In 2020 and ’21 my contributions were nature scenes with birds, or kachōga (花鳥画). You can see a summary of those contributions in the following archive posts:

This year I prepared a very different type of painting for the ink painting exhibition in Tokyo – two architectural landscapes. It was fun, it was challenging, it was mind-boggling on the patience side. I really wanted to share with viewers my experience of walking through Kanazawa in early 2020. On one of those moments I was pausing very close to the Kanazawa castle turret. It was a winter night at the end of January 2020, just before a heavy downpour. Standing just across the moat I could see the intricate rooftop, the lightness of the turret, the solid structure of its stone wall, the golden light shining through the windows, the clouds above. Many, many clouds. You will have to visit The National Art Center to see all the details up close. The photo above is a partial view taken during the painting process.

Kanazawa was the subject of previous smaller ink painting studies, and even a takuhon print in 2021.

Why Kanazawa castle

Every time we look at an artwork we search for its meaning. I paint to remain true to my emotions and the atmosphere of the moment when I came across my subjects. And mostly to enjoy the pleasure of deconstructing and simplifying a subject to best capture said atmosphere in monochrome ink. Meaning has little do with it.

However, looking back at the image of my scroll of Kanazawa castle with the distance of a few weeks I see it differently too. In some ways I moved forward a lot since that evening in 2020 – certainly as a painter. In others, I am still there, paused on a Kanazawa winter night, sheltering and waiting for the coming downpour to pass. Waiting to marvel and learn much more from the views and artists that inspire me. I miss my walks through Japan, as many of us do, I am sure. If you visit this year’s exhibition and look at my paintings I hope you get this feeling, common to all of us who admire Japan’s arts. That we are standing here – solid, closer than it seems though we are out of frame, confident that this too shall pass and we will meet again.

Thank you ever so much to everyone in Japan who has pulled off the feat of carrying on with such a large display of works. We owe you all a huge debt of gratitude. To everyone able to visit, please be safe. Follow the current guidelines from the museum and exhibition organizers. And do share a photo or two if you can.

Until exhibition photos become available, please enjoy a retrospective virtual tour of the 2021 display here:

https://www.sumi-e.net/ .

How to visit

All the exhibition details available in the image at the top of this post and at:

https://www.nact.jp/english/exhibition_public/ (English), venue 2A

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