“Hinges: Sakaki Hyakusen and the Birth of Nanga Painting” is the first U.S. exhibition to focus on the art of Sakaki Hyakusen (1697-1752), the founding father of the Nanga school of painting in Japan, and his relationship to Chinese painting of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The exhibition highlights the extensive conservation of Mountain Landscape, an eighteenth-century pair of six-fold screens by Hyakusen. A gift of the late Professor Emeritus James Cahill, one of the world’s leading authorities on Nanga painting, Mountain Landscape was recognized by Cahill as a masterpiece. Presenting the screens alongside traditional Chinese landscape paintings and works by Nanga school painters, the exhibition is designed to illuminate important cross-cultural and artistic connections between Japan and China. The project will demonstrate Hyakusen’s close observation of Chinese painting and his role in the transformation of Japanese painting of the eighteenth century—a hinge between two artistic traditions. Organized by BAMPFA’s Senior Curator for Asian Art Julia M. White, Hinges will be the capstone project in a series of exhibitions commemorating the 100th anniversary of BAMPFA’s Japanese art collection. The exhibition will include detailed photographs and documentation revealing the painstaking, two-year conservation effort to restore Hyakusen’s screens by renowned conservator Tomokatsu Kawazu, and highlighting the museum’s long commitment to preserving and presenting Japan’s cultural treasures.
“Dragons, Myth and Reality” will explore the history of dragons worldwide, and challenge us to question how these creatures of great mythological strength came to be. The dragon is the prototype of all our most basic human fears, a universal archetype recognized by everyone, world wide. Variations of the basic theme reflect the beliefs of the cultures in which they functioned. Courtenay McGowen’s talk will explore this universal archetype throughout the ages. We are surrounded by dragons today, proof of their ongoing universal fascination. Courtenay is an Asian Arts Council Study group member and a long time member of AAC.
Kondō Kōichiro is known as one of the most accomplished ink painters of modern Japan. He began his career as an oil painter and worked as a popular illustrator/cartoonist before exploring nihonga (traditional-style modern Japanese painting) and establishing his reputation for his novel ink expression. This talk presents the evolution of Kōichiro’s art and his multifaceted contribution to the Japanese art world in the early twentieth century.