2021 5/7(Fri)-5/29(Sat)

Fri, 7th May - Sat, 29th May, 2021
11am - 6pm, closed Sun / Mon, Final day closes at 4pm
Artist present: May 7th (Fri) - 8th (Sat)

Exhibited Artists:
Masanori Maeda, Takafumi Asakura, Kiyo Hasegawa, Ayane Mikagi, Kentaro Sato


Nihonga Renaissance
– A New Dawn in Japanese Painting

A Lighthouse called Kanata is pleased to present the group exhibition Nihonga Renaissance, featuring five Japanese painters who are spearheading a new movement within the storied traditions of Japanese painting, thereby taking the genre beyond the shadows of Heisei and into a new day and age.

Placing emphasis on freedom of expression and innovation through the mastering and understanding of traditional techniques, materials and new modes of abstraction not found within the classically figurative nature of Nihonga, these five painters break free from the market conventions and stereotypes that are commonly placed upon Japanese painters. They eschew the popular trends of Anime/Manga kitsch, as well as precedence on Western narratives in contemporary art, to paint transcendent paintings that capture the movements within themselves.

Spearheaded by Takafumi Asakura, whose experiments with black ink applied on aluminum leaf on traditional formats such as folding screens and scrolls have captivated a global audience, the artists featured in Nihonga Renaissance are a diverse group of individuals who are not afraid to challenge the staid hierarchies of Japanese society and its contemporary art industry; the vivid colours of Ayane Mikagi’s abstract flowers are uncommon within Japanese painting, whereas the sweeping movements of Kentaro Sato’s large paintings using copious amounts of water and wind has introduced a dynamic sense of scale that had been lacking within the medium. Coupled with the ethereal depths of Kiyo Hasegawa s contemplative works, as well as the myriad brushstrokes found within Masanori Maeda s Zen-like poems, Nihonga Renaissance is comprised of artists who question the blind deference to Western narratives in contemporary art through the use of materials indigenous to Japan – hand-made paper, natural minerals and pigments such as grinded seashells, charcoal ink and azurite, as well as gold, silver and aluminum leaf, while at the same time, utilizing these materials through innovations in traditional techniques such as tarashikomi, a medieval blotting technique devised by the Momoyama Period artist Tawaraya Sotatsu (b. 1570 – d. 1640).

As these artists proclaim, “We rise from the shadows like the morning sun.” The Nihonga Renaissance has begun, and we welcome you to its new dawn at A Lighthouse called Kanata this May.

Wahei Aoyama, Owner, A Lighthouse called Kanata



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