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Exhibition: Six Provocative Nihonga Artists


The big joke here is that Nihonga artists are supposed to be the least provocative people on the planet – serenely grinding their organic pigments and gently dabbing yet another boring picture of Mt. Fuji.

In recent months, however, an interesting cross fertilization between contemporary Nihonga and Yoga (Western-style art) has become apparent, with artists like Hisashi Tenmyouya, Kumi Machida, and Fuyuko Matsui producing work that represent a true synthesis between the two. Unfortunately only Matsui is represented at this exhibition, with, among others, a classic new work that looks like it was painted hundreds of years ago, except for the fact that the woman in the picture is vomiting up all her guts. Some of the other selections – Shiriagari and Nakamura – are dully disappointing, but it's good to see Mami Kosemura, an artist who usually specializes in videos of rotting fruit, creating animated installations that can be mistaken for Nihonga screens paintings.

Runs to Sept. 20, 2006, Yokohama Museum of Art
Japanzine
September, 2006
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