Edo Blue of Ukiyo-e : Prussian Blue and Japanese UCHIWA

 

 Round UCHIWA (Japanese Fan) making workshop

 

 

 

Location

The Nippon Club NY

145 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

Date

2017.11.11 (Sat)

13:00〜16:00

Admission

member    $30

non-member    $35

Reservation

Yasuko Honda(Director, Cultural Affairs)

Tel     212-871-7163

Fax    212-581-3332

yhonda@nipponclub.org

Organized by

The Nippon Club

Coordinator

WA Art Gallery Shoko Hayashi

 
 
The Japanese fan used year-round also has aesthetic value. In the Edo Period,  the authorities which "the Tokugawa shogunate" issued sumptuary laws restricting the sale and possession of luxury items among the common people. The ban reached as far as restricting aesthetic items such as hand-painted ukiyo-e. However, fans with portraits of Kabuki actors, bijin-ga pictures, or woodblock printed ukiyo-e were not subject to confiscation, and they spread into the general public. 


“Making of Ao-Hagi” : Tune of Blue

 
 

 

 

Location

The Nippon Club NY  2F Rose Room

145 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

Date

2017.11.8 (Wed)

18:30〜20:00(Door Open 18:00)

Organized by

The Nippon Club

In cooperation with

Mari Kimura  Violinist

Susumu Notomi  Ao-Hagi Artist

Jun Shirasu  Azulejo Artist

Coordinator

WA Art Gallery Shoko Hayashi

 
 
Human realm is surrounded by vast blue - the blue of the ocean, the blue of the sky, and the blue of the outer space. In response to such aesthetic captivation, human cultures worldwide have produced arts and monuments that celebrate the beauty of blue. We will present an aesthetic of blue through music, ceramics, and lecture on ukiyo-e.
Susumu Notomi creates Ao-Hagi (Blue Hagi-yaki) by mixing soil with glaze, and by altering the balance he brings about rich gradation from deep blue like indigo to pale blue like the white waves of the sea. Violinist Mari Kimura, the renowned developer of subharmonics on the violin, takes inspiration from the works of Notomi, and will perform a violin piece composed for the making of Ao-Hagi ceramics. Jun Shirasu, an azulejo artist active in Europe, will deliver a talk on “the history of blue” and “Edo Blue” in ukiyo-e.
 
 

Mari Kimura

http://www.marikimura.com/
 
Violinist
Professor of Music, University of California, Irvine
Faculty of Music Technology, The Julliard School
 

Susumu Notomi 

http://www.choungama.com/
 
Member of the Japan Arts Crafts Association
Yamaguchi branch of the Japan Crafts Council
Director of HAGI Ceramic Artists Association
 

Jun Shirasu

http://www.shirasstudio.com/
 
Public art tile panel “Tres Jardins” for Palmela Station, Portugal
 

Art of Japanese Tea Picnic: Nodate and Chabako

 
Location

The Nippon Gallery at The Nippon Club

145 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

Period

6/15 (Thu) - 7/19 (Wed)

Hours

Mon〜Fri 10:00 am〜6:00 pm

Sat 10:00 am〜5:00 pm

Sun Closed

Admission

Admission Free

The zen mind immerses itself in the culture of tea, appreciates the transient beauty of the four seasons, and delights in life in its bare factuality.
 
Japan meets the Western counties through traditional craft. We introduce the culture of tea – an entertainment of creativity and elegance – by means of tea boxes and tea utensils made by unique artists.
 
Since the old days, people have enjoyed outdoor tea events to admire seasonal delights, such as cherry-blossom viewing during the spring and the changing leaves during the fall. They are events in which people gather, make tea, enjoy and pay respect to nature, contemplate the transience of seasons, and share with each other poetry such as waka and haiku. There is no strict mannerism in outdoor tea.
 
While kyokusui no utage, an elegant form of leisure entertainment enjoyed by nobles in Heian Period (704-1185), tea culture began in the temple and became refined in the hands of the warrior class. An early example is Doyo Sasaki, a ‘basara’ warrior of the Northern and Southern Courts Period, who threw an extravagant event involving tea ceremony, incense, flower arrangement, and renga collaborative poetry during the flower viewing in Oharano, Kyoto. During the Ashikaga shogunate, also known as the Muromachi period (1336-1573), the tea culture settled as an elegant activity.
 
Before Sen no Rikyu, tea culture was graceful and gorgeous. There was also a tocha contest (later banned). In addition, there was an element of showy elegance within the wabi-sabi of tea bowls (e.g. a stylish blackness). Therefore, the exhibition will express wabi-sabi that encompasses glamor.
 
There are no strict rules for nodate, like Western picnic, which makes it welcoming to those who find tea ceremony intimidating. Also, precisely by virtue of this openness, we can combine traditional and modern, or Japanese and western items in a single tea box. We can thus enjoy unique combinations in nodate tea boxes.
 
In this exhibition, we introduce nodate tea boxes and tea utensils that are small and yet both functional and embody the Japanese aesthetics of kawaii. The exhibition room at Nippon Club will be decorated to resemble the outdoors, and we will display paintings, waka poems and tea boxes with the themes of cherry blossom and autumn flowers. Through the unique combinations of tea boxes put together by various artists, we introducethe nodate, tea culture of Japan that enjoys free and elegant tea time, which is a prevalent style before Sen no Rikyu.
 
Please don’t miss this rare opportunity to experience “Art of Japanese Tea Picnic”.
 
During the exhibition, we will hold a workshop.
 

How to make Matcha!
 
Miyako Watanabe of Ippodo Tea Co. (started in 1717) will speak about the joy and pleasure of tea and also show how to make Matcha. Please enjoy green tea whisked by yourself with traditional Japanese sweets!
 
Time: 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm on Saturday, June 17, 2017
Fee: $ 10 (Nippon Club members), $15 (Guests)  (Material Fee $ 10)
The number of seats is limited.
 
For registration or inquiry, please contact Ms. Honda at yhonda@nipponclub.org.


2 days only Special
Jazz Nights at Bar & Grill at The Nippon Club


Kunihiko Sugano / Jazz Pianist & Mari Kimura / Violinist, Composer
Once upon a time music

 
Location

The Nippon Club NY

145 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

At Bar & Grill at The Nippon Club

Period

May 18 (Thu) & May 19 (Fri)

Hours

6:00 pm (Door open)
7:00 pm (Live performance)

Admission

Cover Charge: The Nippon Club member $10, Guest $15

Food & Beverage Minimum Charge $25

Reservation

Yasuko Honda at yhonda@nipponclub.org or 212-581-2223

A dream collaboration by Kunihiko Sugano, who enlivened the jazz boom after the war in Japan, and Mari Kimura, who leads contemporary music here in the states, has finally come true! Please enjoy a special live performance of hit numbers encouraging people of the “SHOWA” era, along with original tunes, at Bar & Grill at The Nippon Club.

Kunihiko Sugano / Jazz Pianist

http://suganokunihiko.com/
 
The first house pianist to play at the jazz club Misty in Roppongi. A band member of the Tony Scott. Friends of musicians: Gil Ok-yun, Ediy Iwata, Masaaki Hirao, Sao Suzuki, Hidehiko Matsumoto, Horace Silver, Errol Louis Garner, Bill Evans, Phineas Newborn, Hampton Haws, Linton Garne. In 1972, he decided to travel the world and visited places such as a Brazil, Monte Carlo in Monaco and NYC in the USA. After coming back to Japan, he picked up where he left off and invented a new and one of a kind piano keyboard. To this day, he continues to play live concerts around Tokyo.
 

Mari Kimura / Violinist&Composer

http://www.marikimura.com/
 
Mari Kimura is a violinist/composer and best known for her use of subharmonics, which allow a violinist to play a full octave below the low G on the violin without adjusting the tuning of the instrument. Since 1998, Kimura has been teaching a graduate course in Interactive Computer Music Performance at Juilliard. She was awarded the 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition.  Her composition “I-Quadrifoglio” for the Cassatt String Quartet, from a 2010 Commission Award from the Fromm Foundation, was premiered at Symphony Space in NYC on October 13, 2011. In 2013, Kimura inaugurated a new summer program as the Director of the Future Music Lab at the Atlantic Music Festival in collaboration with IRCAM. Her latest CD (2017), Voyage Apollonian (Innova Records) features her works for Subharmonics and interactive compositions using a motion sensor. Kimura’s work has been featured in major publications including the New York Times and in Scientific American. She also plays everything from Baroque to today.


Washi Paper


Cultural Heritage and Artistic Creativity

 

 
The Nippon Gallery at the Nippon Club in New York announces an exhibition on washi paper, which has played an important role in Japanese culture since the 8th century.
Washi paper is not only a traditional craft, but also an art form that reaches beyond its historical significance and into the present day through ever-changing forms of creative expression.
 
 

Introduction

Washi paper -“thin, strong, and beautiful” - is a symbol of Japanese craftsmanship. A work of art in itself, this traditional paper has not only found a place in the restoration of cultural properties by virtue of its unique durability, strength, and eco-friendliness, but also as a popular material for paintings, fine arts, lighting fixtures, and interior design.
 
Papermaking was first introduced to Japan from China in the 7th century by Buddhist monks who produced papers for writing sutras. By the year 800, Japan had developed its own method of paper production. There were various producing areas of washi paper throughout Japan and each of them took advantage of the indigenous raw materials produced by its unique climate and geographical characteristics. In the Edo period (1603-1868), washi paper became a major industry as not only Buddhist monks but also the commonality started to use washi papers for transcription.
 
Today, as modern technologies take over and mechanized paper production is able to manufacture similar-looking papers at a much lower cost and quality than authentic, handmade washi, this precious traditional craft is being threatened. However, with its wide method of production and use of a variety of raw materials, there is a possibility that handmade washi paper will give rise to a resurgence of this traditional craft through new and creative applications.
 

Purpose

In this exhibition, discover the beauty and functionality of washi paper firsthand through a variety of classic Japaneseart forms reinterpreted by contemporary artists anddesigned to introduce visitors to the historical and creative value of washi paper. Also, amid worsening environmental problems, this is a great opportunity to reappraise the value of washi paper made with natural ingredients.
 
In order to create darkness, all the windows are covered by washi paper, drawing on the ideas of karakami (thick paper often used for Japanese sliding doors), which are used in traditional Japanese houses. In this way, a subtle and profound atmosphere is created within the exhibition space, allowing for the quiet play of light and shadow as you are transported back to an era when the only source of light in the home emanated from a single washi lantern.
 

Exhibit contents

  1. “Nightface series” by Koji Shibazaki
    • Explore the subtle beauty of Japanese illumination from the Edo period through lanterns made with washi paper. Usingthe unique and transformative translucency of layered washi paper, Shibazaki’s works create a mysterious spatial effect through his masterful control of shadow and light. In a well-lit space, his lanterns resemble simple, unadorned white boxes. However, when illuminated in darkness, an illusion of depth and space is revealed within.
  2. Artworks of cut gold leaf by Mikako Suzuki
    • Constructed of handmade washi paper and adorned with intricate geometrical patterns made of individually hand-cut gold leaf, Suzuki’s subtly impressive folding screens and tapestries glitter in the gentle light of Shibazaki’s washi lanterns. 
  3. Traditional origami by The International Origami Center
    • The Japanese art of paper folding is completely different from its European counterparts, such as pajarita or cocotte en papier. Known around the world as origami, this method of paper folding was developed in Japan by taking advantage of washi paper’s distinctive features. From simple amusement to thoughtful ceremony, even today,origami remains a popular activity both in Japan and worldwide.
      Another form of origami is called origata. A tradition established by the samurai class during the 15th century, origata is the art of wrapping gifts in paper, and was often used as decoration for special ceremonies. 
  4. Handmade washi paper and calligraphy by Mohri Suzuki
    • In his continued exploration of the art of calligraphy, calligrapher Mori Suzuki returns to the fundamentals of his art through the physical act of making washi paper. Inspired by the intricate process of papermaking, his thoughts and feelings are expressed in every stroke of his expressive calligraphy.
  5. Washi dolls by Kiyoharu Uchiumi
    • Using the distinctive properties of washi paper, Uchiumi’s pure white dolls and use of natural materials represent theaesthetic of Japan.

 

Lecture

Prof. Koji Shibazaki
Department of Design and Craft, Aichi University of the Arts

 

  1. Various Japanese washi paper
  2. Relationship between washi paper and lighting
  3. Professor Shibazaki’s current research and activities
  4. Professor Shibazaki’s handmade washi paper

 
Washi paper has been deeply entwined with traditional Japanese lighting since Edo period (1603 – 1868). By using various techniques and materials, such as gold/silver leaf and mica, each washi-made lantern exhibits a unique beauty as light passes through its translucent surface, illuminating the darkness. This lecture explores the application of washi paper in traditional lighting, Professor Shibazaki’s artwork, and the diversity of handmade Japanese paper.
 

In cooperation with

  • Prof. Koji Shibazaki, Department of Design and Craft, Aichi University of the Arts
  • International Origami Center
  • WA art Gallery
  • Cut gold leaf artist, Mikako Suzuki 
  • Calligrapher, Mohri Suzuki 
  • Traditional origami artist, Hiromi Watabe
  • Traditional origata artist, Kasui Arima
  • Washi Doll artist, Kiyoharu Uchiumi

 

Supported by

  • Aichi University of the Arts
  • Toyota City
  • Paper Museum
  • On-hyougu, Den

 

Coordinator 

  • WA Art Gallery 

Hirado Egg-shell Ware & Mikawachi Porcelain of Japan  - 400 Yeas and Beyond

 
Period

June 23 - July 20

Location

NY NIPPON CLUB

145 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

  • Organized by The Nippon Club
  • Sponsored by the J.C.C. Fund (the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York)
  • With support from The Japan Foundation, New York, Nagasaki Prefecture, Sasebo City and Mikawachi Pottery Industries Co-operative Association
  • In collaboration with Gokogama, Koungama, Kasengama, Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture  Chief curator Hisako Matsushita, Ayatakado, WA art Gallery, TV (NCC, NHK)
  • Supervisor: the 13th Hirado Tousyo
  • Art Coordinator: Shoko Hayashi

 
Mikawachi was the capital of pottery as well as the fiefdom of Hirado domain. The wares produced in the Edo period (1603-1868) are called Hirado ware, while the wares produced after the Meiji period (1868-1912) are called Mikawachi ware today. The first Hirado Tousyo was appointed by the feudal lord of Hirado to establish the feudal kiln in 1637. Under the protection of the Hirado feudal administration, Hirado ware was significantly developed and prized as presentation wares for the shogun, the emperor and their families.
 
The sophisticated underglaze cobalt blue painted on the pure white porcelains, the openwork in wickerwork designs, the relief decorations called “Okiage”, and the thin-walled porcelains can be seen only in Mikawachi ware. Above all, extremely thin and lightweight porcelain wares called “eggshell wares” weighing only 30 grams amazed Europeans, and became widely popular as one of the thinnest wares in the world. Around 1900, however, the potters in Mikawachi were giving up making eggshell porcelain along with the change in demand, and eventually the production methods were lost.
 
About 100 years have passed since then, and the name “Hirado Tousyo” has been handed down for 13 generations since 1637 when the history of Mikawachi started as the official production site of Hirado ware. Gakuei Fujimoto, the thirteenth generation of Hirado Tousyo, focused on the high level of the lost production method of eggshell ware and its quality. He identified the materials, forming and firing techniques through countless tests and researches and, in 2006, he finally revived the eggshell porcelain.
 
In this exhibition, we would like to introduce the history of Mikawachi ware and the fascination of eggshell ware through the old resources and antique porcelains, and additionally the productions created by modern potters representing today’s Mikawachi. Especially the draft design of an antique porcelain (the actual porcelain of the draft design is currently preserved in The Metropolitan Art Museum), elaborate patterns painted on the eggshell wares in the 19th century, the vintage name board displayed during the export age, and the modern production methods of eggshell wares which are restored by Fujimoto, who walked around Hario island by himself to find out the materials, and also analyzed the ancient documents in several museums are absolutely well worth watching.  Through the modern Mikawachi wares, which observe the long tradition but also develop a new individuality by researching the production method in East Asia, you will experience the polished skill and passion of modern potters of Mikawachi.
 


 
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