Publications - Blue Wind Introduction
Seifu, Blue Wind,
echoes with a sense of fresh beginnings. Throughout the
twentieth century Japanese artists looked into the wells of
their culture for inspiration, just as they looked to the wider
world for their place in the stream of modernism. This tension
between tradition and innovation unfolded with amazing
creativity in the arts.
The work artists created answers in
itself the question of what it is to be Japanese and modern.
These answers change dramatically across the century, and at any
one time between one artist and another. A loyalty to one's
craft, to the techniques developed over time informs the best of
their art. Often a fresh way of looking at the world found
expression in imagery from the past, associations that balance
stylization and abstraction.
In this our third catalogue you will
again find a visual miscellany of paintings and objects that
speak to us. A rough time line runs through the book, abandoned
for affinities of medium or imagery, or to suggest interesting
contrasts. The first part we devote to photographs of the art,
linked to the text by number. The second part (beginning on page
98) covers the text or background information, referenced by
item number. Reduced photographs of the illustrated art float
with the text as a visual guide.
Working in the first decades of the
twentieth century, Imai Oshin inscribed Seifu on a screen
for Sencha Tea Ceremony to express his feelings of a
Spring Wind blowing through life. We hope you find a similar
inspiration and renewal flowing through this collection of
twentieth century Japanese art.