SEPTEMBER 6 – OCTOBER 20, 2018
Opening: Thursday, September 6, 2018, Artist Talk 3–5pm, Reception 5–8pm
Noriyuki Kobayashi, Messenger In The Moon, 2018. Mineral pigments on washi paper. 65.2 x 45.5 cm/ 25.7 x 17.9 inches.
Seiko Yamada, a longtime Japanese art dealer and founder of SEIZAN Gallery, will open her first overseas space in Chelsea on September 6, 2018. To commemorate the opening, SEIZAN Gallery New York will present the inaugural exhibition titled NIHONGA: Contemporary Art of Japan. On view until October 20, 2018, the gallery will feature seven emerging Japanese painters whom Yamada represents, including Eri Iwasaki, Haruomi Izumi, Takashi Kanazawa, Noriyuki Kobayashi, Ken Shiozaki, Junya Tsubota, and Shigemi Yasuhara.
The opening reception will be held Thursday, September 6. Artists Izumi and Shiozaki will discuss their practice of traditional Nihonga painting from 3-5pm with a reception directly following. Yamada will also be present.
“Nihonga” (which means “Japanese painting”) was established around 1900, when Western oil painting became more popular and available in Japan. It refers to the original practice of material, technique, and choice of subjects characteristic of painting in Japan.
Years of focused training are required to master materials such as mineral pigments, gold leaf, silver leaf, and Japanese “washi,” a distinctive type of paper made from mulberry. The exhibition presents 21 works by seven contemporary painters who carry on traditional practices deeply rooted in Japanese art history, yet who each have a decidedly new take on the genre.
The exhibition underscores the core mission of SEIZAN Gallery: to promote Japanese talent and the diversity of their work to a broader audience outside of Japan. "The history of Japanese art is not only quite old, but sophisticated in both an aesthetic and a technical sense," said Yamada. "It is important for us to discover and champion this splendor. The opening of the New York gallery will allow us to introduce these excellent artists to inspire and surprise the world with their work."
The catalog of the inaugural exhibition with an essay by independent scholar Lia Robinson and preface by Seiko Yamada will be available at the opening.
Installation photos by GION