Flowers, Birds and Animals – Selections from the Hara Rokuro Collection

Dates : April 26 (Friday) – May 29 (Wednesday), 2013

Bird-and-Flower painting is a genre that originated in China but was widely adopted throughout East Asia. It included not only bird and flower motifs, but also insects and animals. Brought to Japan by Zen monks, it was widely adopted during the Momoyama period by the Kano and Hasegawa schools in paintings that decorated the interiors of large residences. The early-modern era saw dramatic development of the genre within idealized representations of the four seasons. The detailed realism introduced by the Chinese painter Shen Nanpin was actively adopted during the 18th century.

At the heart of this exhibition are monochrome-ink paintings in the style of the Kano school which once adorned the Nikko-in Guest Hall at Mi′idera Temple and hanging scrolls done in saturated colors by Shen Nanpin. Selected works of contemporary art share the space to highlight the contrasting techniques and perspectives used in traditional and contemporary treatments of the same motifs. We invite you to view this genre of art which has delighted viewers through the ages.

Featured Works
Traditional Art: Tiger in a bamboo grove (part of paintings used for wallpaper and sliding doors at Nikko-in guest hall in Mi’idera temple), Kano Eitoku, Momoyama period / Birds and flowers (part of paintings used for wallpaper and sliding doors at Nikko-in guest hall in Mi’idera temple,) attributed to Kano school, Momoyama – Edo period / A pair of cranes and an old pine tree, Shen Nanping, Qing dynasty and others
Contemporary Art: Kazumasa Nagai, SARU, USAGI, 1991 / Yoshihiro Suda, Tessen, 2001 / Kouichi Tabata, 960 fly, 2003 / Hiroe Saeki, Untitled, 2009 and others