Shapes of the Seasons

Dates : Part I: October 28 (Fri.) - November 30 (Wed.), 2011 Part II: December 2 (Fri.), 2011 - January 4 (Wed.), 2012

Over the ages, the Japanese have cultivated a keen sensitivity towards nature, ascribing poetic names to natural phenomena and expressing the subtle transitions between the seasons and the passage of time. Detailed observations of changes in phenomena such as the sky, winds, rivers, seas, and plants were essential for the ordering of everyday life. In all places and times, art has given form to those natural phenomena deeply connected with the lives of people. Such artworks are associated with a wide range of subject matter including annual events, the weather and astronomy, and a great many came to be embodied as decorative furnishings for the home. This exhibition showcases works from the Hara Rokuro Collection that depict the changing forms and colors of nature, or are in some way connected with the seasons. These include such superb examples of early modern painting as Maruyama Okyo’s Landscape of Yodo River and Field with the moon and the subject called ‘Musashino’ (Part I) and Mori Tetsuzan’s A hundred cranes (Part II). These works, together with selected pieces of contemporary art, comprise a beautiful world of expression and form that we hope you will come to and experience.

Featured works
Traditional Art
【Parts I and II】Maruyama Okyo, Landscape of Yodo River, Edo period, 1765
【Part I only】Field with the moon, the subject called “Musashino”, , Edo period, 17th century/Kano school, Landscape with snowy mountains (part of paintings used for wallpaper and sliding doors at Nikko-in guest hall in Mi’idera temple), Momoyama-Edo period, 16th-17th century/Tier of boxes decorated with a squirrel and grape vine design in maki-e, Edo-Meiji period, 19th century and others
【Part II only】Kano Tan’yu, Dragon and Tiger, Edo period, 1671/Mori Tetsuzan, A hundred cranes, Edo period, 19th century/Pair of Satsuma ware sake bottles with portable maki-e case, Edo period, 19th century/ Ruyi (Buddhist ritual implement) engraved with human figures, Qing dynasty, 19th century and others
Contemporary Art
【Parts I and II】David Smith, Tri-Construction, 1941/ Anish Kapoor, Void, 1992/Kazz Sasaguchi, constellation, 2002/Noe Aoki, Tateyama, 2007 and others
【Part I only】Marta Pan, Sculpture 93, 1965/Aaron Fink, Orange, 1992