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Say It With Flowers

April 04, 2016
Spring in Full Bloom: A Nihon-ga Festival
Plums, cherries and roses are beginning to bloom… You’ve seen the city’s streets and parks in full flower, now why not admire sakura’s influence on Japanese art? Cherry-picking a number of special works from its plentiful permanent collection to celebrate the onset of spring, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (MOMAT for short) is channelling the spirit of the season.

Easy-on-the-eye exhibition ‘Spring in Full Bloom: A Nihon-ga Festival’, running until May 15 in rooms 2 and 10, focuses on Nihon-ga, the museum’s Japanese-style works. The display includes blooming lovely pieces by Kawai Gyokudo (1916 folding-screen sensation Parting Spring, depicting ephemeral blossoms over water) and rarities such as Hishida Shunso's 1902 Wang Zhaojun (The Chinese Princess), showing a gorgeous gathering of ladies in pastel-pretty robes. Both have been designated as Important Cultural Property, the VIPs of Japan’s art oeuvre, along with four other masterpieces in the show.

Green is the traditional colour of spring in Japan, and several works here capture the beauty of youth – those green in age – in the guise of spring. Takeji Fujishima’s Perfume (1915) shows a pink-clad young woman with a vase of flowers, a hint that her beauty might fade. Yasunori Taninaka’s Riding Bicycle in Spring (1937-39) depicts the pleasures of this energetic season.

Combine your visit with a wander along nearby bloom-heavy Chidorigafuchi Ryokudo promenade. After all, nature is the ultimate artist…

Until 15 May, 2016.

The National Museum of Modern Art / 3-1 Kitanomaru-koen / Chiyoda-ku / 10:00 am-5:00 pm Tue-Sun, until 8:00 pm Fri / +81 3 5777 8600 /