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The Pursuit of Happiness

February 08, 2016
Jakuchu's Happiness and Taikan's Auspiciousness
Just in time for the New Year, all things happy and fortuitous are the focus of Yamatane Museum of Art's 50th anniversary exhibition in Tokyo. Looking at the paintings of mid-Edo era master Ito Jakuchu (1716-1800) and Nihonga innovator Yokoyama Taikan (1868-1958), the show takes up lucky themes from the Seven Gods of Good Fortune to sacred Mt Fuji.

Yamatane’s permanent collection specialises in Nihonga – traditional Japanese paintings typically executed on washi paper or silk using brushes and mineral pigments. Based on thousand-year-old skills, they display a strong sense of the seasons, capturing the natural world with delicate detail. The gallery also stars four Important Cultural Properties, including Hayami Gyoshu’s Camellia Petals Scattering.

Jakuchu’s Happiness and Taikan’s Auspiciousness marks the 300th anniversary of Jakuchu’s birth, with the feel-good subtitle: ‘All happiness comes to the homes of those who smile’. Don’t miss Taikan’s dreamy landscape The Enchanted Mt. Penglai on the Island of Eternal Youth (if only we could book a boutique stay there!) and Jakucho’s quirky ink painting Sumo Match Between a Globefish and a Toad.

The exhibition’s 70-odd works divide into sections featuring Joy and Good Fortune (expect cranes and turtles, pine, bamboo and plum trees, and other auspicious motifs) and Images that Delight (puppies, dolls and cats, of course). You’ll even get discounted entry if you show up in a kimono... better hit up Ginza Motoji beforehand!

Until 6 Mar, 2016.

Yamatane Museum of Art / 3-12-36 Hiroo / Shibuya-ku / +81 3 5777 8600 / 10:00 am-5:00 pm Tue-Sun / yamatane-museum.jp

Images © Yamatane Museum of Art, incl. Yokoyama Taikan ‘Mt Kisen’ (1919) and Hayami Gyoshu’s ‘Camellia Petals Scattering’ (1929)
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