MARCH 6 - APRIL 27, 2019
Opening Reception: March 7, 6-8pm
Asia Week Opening Reception: Thursday, March 14, 6-9pm
Image: Haruomi Izumi, Moonlight, 2019. 13.1 x 20.9 inches. Mineral pigments, varnish, metal leaf on Japanese paper mounted on wood panel.
SEIZAN Gallery is pleased to announce its March 2019 Asia Week exhibition, Reimagined: Contemporary Artists Take on The Tale of Genji. After opening its first overseas location in Chelsea in September of 2018, SEIZAN is honored to be joining Asia Week for its 10th Anniversary Year. To mark the gallery’s inaugural year in New York, ten SEIZAN artists have been commissioned to create unique works responding to the classic Japanese romance story, The Tale of Genji.
Since its creation in the early 11th century by lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji has become one of Japan’s most celebrated stories and has provided inspiration to artists across the globe. The classic centers on the life of its titular character, Hikaru Genji, the son of the emperor of Japan, and his complex romances.
In Reimagined: Contemporary Artists Take on The Tale of Genji, the selected group of artists reexamine the story, which is sometimes known as the world’s first psychological novel, and reflect on its meaning and continued influence on Japan and the world in 2019. Each featured artist has chosen a different route in exploring the tale, focusing on the characters and scenes that they feel resonate the most today. Artists for the exhibition include Yoji Kumagai, a painter known for combining traditional Nihonga techniques with modern motifs, whose selected work Galium Garden, focuses on the mother of Lady Kiritsubo, the deceased mother of Prince Genji. For this work, Kumagai was inspired by the expressive language of the text that surrounds the grieving mother, which resonated deeply with the artist despite the character only briefly appearing in the story. In addition to Yoji Kumagai, other artists whose works will be presented in the exhibition include; Yukiko Hata, Yasushi Ikejiri, Yasunari Ikenaga, Eri Iwasaki, Haruomi Izumi, Ayumu Matsuoka, Ayana Otake, Takahiro Sanda, and Shiki Taira. Together, the artworks form a visual exploration of the story as a whole and the enduring influence of Murasaki’s characters on contemporary artists.
The exhibition catalog with accompanying essay by Dr. Sonja Arntzen, Professor Emerita, University of Toronto, will be available for purchase at the gallery.
Installation photos by GION