24.9 201728.1 2018

Japan – Spirits of Nature

The Japanese archipelago is full of wonders. The idea that the soul of nature inhabits the darkness of the night has been given different names and shapes throughout Japanese art and history. Myths that were used to explain incomprehensible natural phenomena gave meaning to a mysterious world. These stories live on in contemporary art, which provides a space for that which is usually invisible to the human eye.

In the fall of 2017, the Nordic Watercolour Museum presents an exhibition that explores the work of some of the most renowned contemporary artists from Japan. The cultures of Scandinavia and Japan share an appreciation for design and a passionate and spiritual engagement with nature. However, the means of expressions may vary. The exhibition considers how the historically strong connection to the landscape and nature manifestoes itself in the contemporary art of today.

Methods and materials vary from multimedia, hand-crafted animations and installations, to traditional watercolour painting, wood-block prints and other paper-based art. Works by six Japanese contemporary artists are shown alongside some classical masterpieces, revealing the contemporary roots in the past.

Participating artists: ​Tenmyouya Hisashi, Manabu Ikeda, Tomoko Konoike, Takashi Kuribayashi, Fuyuko Matsui, Akira Yamaguchi, classical works from the collection of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm and Akari lighting installation by Isamu Noguchi.

You can watch interviews with some of the participating artists by clicking here (in Swedish and Japanese).