Archives For Japan

Japan and Modernism

October 5, 2015 — Leave a comment

Rediscovered the Japanese Tea Rooms at the Philadelphia Museum of Art yesterday and reminded why my first love was Japanese Scroll Painting & Ceramics.  My early series Nature Morte & Desert, are especially informed by this aesthetic. Some of my Nocturnes are (visually) based on Japanese Garden views from ancient Tea Rooms. Looking back, the ancient Japanese artists and craftsman were some of first Modernist’s it seems. I am always shocked how contemporary their ancient visual language actually was.  

Detail of Japanese Tea Room Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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Lions at the Stone Bridge of Tendaisan Artist: Soga Shōhaku (Japanese, 1730–1781) Period: Edo period (1615–1868) Date: 1779 Culture: Japan Medium: Hanging scroll; ink on silk Dimensions: Image: 44 7/8 in. × 20 in. (114 × 50.8 cm) via


Suzuki Kiitsu’s ‘Cranes’ (19th century Edo Period) | THE FEINBERG COLLECTION via


Mino ware, Oribe style; glazed stoneware, 1 7/8 x 7 3/4 in. (4.76 x 19.69 cm) via Seattle Art Museum

There are just not enough photo surrealist’s in the world for my liking and the young and untrained Toshiko Okanoue is one of the best. In 6 years she knocked out over 100 works and had a couple of shows in Tokyo in the 1950’s. She then stopped making art abruptly after marrying (the not so remarkable) painter Kazutomo Fujino.

Her photo-collages as she says,

“…fit my dreams. Those scraps of my fantasies turned into strangely interesting things, – things I would not have thought of. Emboldened and delighted by the results, I made one collage after another.”

Her work was forgotten for 40 years but now she is getting the attention she deserves via two books from the great Nazraeli Press which got her into a show at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.


via nice article in  Foam Magazine


The Collages of Toshiko Okanoue