Daitoku-ji Temple Collaborates with Contemporary Illustrators
The room dividers of Daitoku-ji, the 14th-century Buddhist temple, served as canvases for contemporary illustrators. On a rare occasion, the exhibition brought together two distinct Japanese cultures: traditional Buddhism and anime and cartoons.
Daitoku-ji is a buddhist temple in Kyoto, one of fourteen autonomous branches of the Rinzai school of Japanese Zen. Currently the the subtemple Shinju-an is closed and preparing to reopen in fall to showcase something that hasn’t been done before. The fusuma (room dividers), usually covered with historical paintings, will be serving as a canvas to contemporary illustrators that are well known for their work.
One of them will be Art Director of the famous game Final Fantasy, Isamu Kamikokuryo who named his impressive work “Pure Land”.
Hiroyuki Yamaga founding member of Gainax, an anime studio most known for Neon Genesis Evangelion, created a compelling painting in black and white.
The third is Kenichi Kitami an illustrator behind a famous Japanese comic “Tsuribaka Nisshi” about fishing. His stories have also been made into a series of movies. His work is probably the most unconventional of all using many colors and cartoon style characters.
The revamped Shinju-an will open to the public in fall 2018. If you’re in Kyoto around that time or after, I highly recommend a visit. Daitoku-ji is located about 15min walk from Kitaoji station on the Krasuma line (one of the main train lines in Kyoto).
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STORIES BEHIND THE PIECES
Kiyoko Matsuoka, 4th-generation shibori master
Shibori, meaning “to wring, squeeze or press” is the process of shaping cloth before dyeing to create various designs on the textile. Rather than using the cloth as a two dimensional surface, the Shibori textile has a three dimensional element, given that each technique requires years of experience to master.
Hiromichi Nakade, Maker of Oryoki Bowls
Meet Hiromichi Nakade and Kazuya Fujimoto, the makers of the Oryoki and Kodaiwan bowls. A master craftsman sits with his former apprentice to speak about their hope for the declining crafts industry in Japan, as well as the appeal of craftsmanship.