29 Nov 2006 -
6 Dec 2006
This collection of works was a gift to the people of Victoria in 1976 from the International Culture Appreciation and Interchange Society in Tokyo.
RMIT Gallery celebrates the 2006 Australia-Japan Year of Exchange with the exhibition ‘Nihonga’, a selection of paintings from some of Japan’s leading artists from the 1970s, opening on Wednesday 29th November and continuing to Saturday 9th December, 2006.
The exhibition is drawn from a collection of paintings donated to the people of Victoria by the International Culture Appreciation and Interchange Society of Japan, and includes pictures by some of the best painters in the Nihonga style. These 25 works were commissioned from masters of the Nihonga school by Japan’s International Culture Appreciation and Interchange Society between 1972 and 1977, and are exemplary of this unique artistic style.
Embracing both Eastern and Western painting techniques, the Nihonga style is one of the premiere contemporary Japanese painting schools. Nihonga artists draw on the Japanese affinity with nature to create works that draw together traditional and contemporary styles. Painting onto silks, the Nihonga artists use only natural materials, pigments and binders in order to create images both depict and utilise the natural environment.
Artists of the Nihonga style are guided by the twin concepts of “light” and “white”. In Nihonga paintings, the illumination is always from the front, creating the illusion that the viewer the source of light. Rather than using light to show the time of day, it is instead used to imply a degree of spirituality, and a link between the viewer and eternity. As a result the images have an ethereally flat, shadowless quality.