Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Beyond Golden Clouds at the Asian: Begining October 15th

 Landscape, approx. 1602, right screen. By Kaiho Yusho (approx. 1533-1615). Pair of six-panel screens; ink and gold on paper. Left side. Saint Louis Art Museum, Friends Fund (59:1962.1-2)

Using ink with deceptive simplicity, Yusho created a landscape ideally suited to a pair of folding screens. Large expanses of water and sky are broken by fishing boats, pavilions and boulders. The only other pigment used, other than the black ink, is the delicate wash of gold paint, almost equal in tone to the ink wash. The effect is so subtle in tone that it is unnoticeable, unless a shift in the light catches the golden glow.


Landscape, approx. 1602, right screen. By Kaiho Yusho (approx. 1533-1615). Pair of six-panel screens; ink and gold on paper. Right Side. Saint Louis Art Museum, Friends Fund (59:1962.1-2)

In no other screen can you see so clearly the mark of the maker's hand. His technique is so masterful that he captures the fisherman's boat with only two strokes. But nothing here is by chance. The seeming spontaneity is achieved by a technique called hatsuboku (splashed ink), involving quick brush strokes that appear unplanned but could only be executed by one with complete control of the medium.

These pair of screens were probably commissioned by a follower of Zen. The contemplative mood of the painting, the ambiguity of the images, the unsubstantial nature of the landscape all speak of the need for simplicity, clearing the mind as an aid to discovering the ultimate nature of reality.

Beyond Golden Clouds will be on view from October 15, 2010 – January 16, 2011.

Tuesday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

200 Larkin Street (between Fulton and McAllister Streets)
San Francisco, CA 94102

http://www.asianart.org

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