Kōrin and Kenzan: Brother Artists, Resonating Aesthetics
In a nutshell
Ogata Kōrin is a painter and designer, who is known to visitors of the Nezu Museum for his incredible pair of six-panel screens of irises on a gold background. Additional screens and scrolls are on display as well as paintings on stoneware created by his brother Kenzan, an Edo period ceramic artist. Many of Kenzan’s square, flower-shaped and lidded decorative pottery, paintings and calligraphy are on view as well.
Located on the former site of the Nezu family residence, the museum building is beautifully constructed from bamboo, Chinese sandstone, glass, and metal. As a museum guide said, “You never see the same scene twice” with the change of seasons on view through the large windows.
This museum’s garden lives up to its claim as an “urban oasis”. Lush green vegetation, winding paths, stone sculptures, bridges and koi ponds. The museum website includes a map with panoramic views marked, ideal for photos. Their irises should be in bloom in the next week or two.
English? (labels/audio guides/handouts)
This museum now has flyers, advertising this and upcoming exhibitions, in both Japanese and English. The exhibition chapter information and title cards are in English as are most, but not all, extended captions describing the works. The audio guide is in Japanese only.
No photos allowed in the exhibition. There are a few works in the lobby that can be photographed. The garden is an ideal setting to take pictures.
The panels, paintings, scrolls and stoneware are gorgeous and worth seeing in person.
Anyone who wants a reprieve from urban Tokyo will enjoy the garden. Japanese art lovers will enjoy the beauty, technique and aesthetic on display in this exhibition.
How far out?
About a 10 minute walk from exit A5 of the Omotesandō metro station.
How much time?
30-45 minutes for the exhibition but allow more time for the garden.
How much money?
¥1,300 for general admission.
May 13, 2018
Rating: make a special trip, see it if you’re in the area or have some free time, see it only if you like this specific type of art
Worth seeing if you’re in the area or have some free time.