Liou's quiet little life...or is it?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Some art lesson

Yesterday I went to the Tokyo National Museum, which has an incredible collection of japanese traditional art. I remember I really liked this museum last time I visited it, which was probably about 4,5 years ago. But this time it made an even bigger impression on me; japanese art is very much an expression of excellent craftmanship. This can be found in its sophisticated, detailed and perfectionist quality. What I like about it, is that it expresses a minimal, but very touching beauty. It is difficult to distinguish between craftmanship and art here, but I think the signature of the artist makes the difference, be it in sometimes a very subte way.

  • Lavish Noh costume. Noh is one of the traditional forms of theatre)
  • Wonderful maki-e teacaddy. Maki-e is traditional lacquerware where gold and silver are used with different colours of lacquer to create patterns and illustrations and wood. The teacaddy's main use to store green tea powder (macha) used in the famous tea ceremony.

Seeing such beautiful art reminded of the great Russian painters I have seen, mainly at the Russian State Museum in St.Petersburg and the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. The most incredible thing is that they are known or taught at all in the Western world, which is really a shame. Here are some links to some wonderful pictures, although the quality of the photograph is not always on par with the actual painting.


  • Some art lesson

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