June 20, 2018

Urbanist Abroad: Day 16 – Kyoto

On Wednesday, a visit to The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto (known as MOMAK, naturally).

In addition to familiar names like Braque, Chagall, Chihuly, Hockney, Kindinsky and Lloyd Wright, our tireless, urbanist documentarian Gordon Price took in some renowned Japanese artists, likely unknown to many Westerners, but worth some investigation:

  • Léonard Tsugouharu Foujita, Japanese–French painter and printmaker, whose Book of Cats (1930) is one of the highest-priced rare books ever sold; it is ranked by dealers as “the most popular and desirable book on cats ever published” (take that, GIPHY)
  • Kaii Higashiyama, writer and artist particularly renowned for his Nihonga style paintings, and one of the most popular artists in post-war Japan.
  • Hishida Shunsō, pseudonym of Japanese painter Hishida Miyoji from the Meiji period, he played a role in the innovation of Nihonga.
  • Oda Kaisen, who specialized in landscapes, figures and kachoga (bird/flower-paintings); known especially for the Suiboku-ga style of Japanese monochrome ink painting, a technique first developed in China during the Sung dynasty (960–1274).
  • Tomioka Tessai, the pseudonym for painter and calligrapher Yusuke, whose early early works followed the bunjinga styles of the early 19th century, often featuring Chinese landscapes. It is estimated he painted approximately 20,000 paintings in the course of his career

Just a few photographs today, and a compelling video — peeking down lanes and alleyways into another world…

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