Community lies at the heart of cultural practice in Japan. Art is a way to engage in conversation, celebrate shared values, and contribute new insights. This conversation can transcend both time and space, and happen not only with friends near at hand, but also with luminaries from the past, whose presence continues to be felt through the traces of their brush. Similarly, art reaches beyond the audience for whom it was first intended, inviting future generations to add their own voices.
Tomioka Tessai (1836–1924), who was actively involved in the arts throughout his long career, is the thread that connects the various artists and artworks in this exhibition, including his mentor, the nun Ōtagaki Rengetsu (1791–1875)—who endured the tragic deaths of her family to become an inspired poet and artist—to the brash young Hashimoto Kansetsu (1883–1945), who boldly reinvented the tradition of the scholar-artist.
Among Friends: Collaboration in Japanese Art, located in the Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Thematic Gallery, brings together painting, calligraphy, poetry and ceramics to reveal the connections between these artists and the importance of an artistic community during the dynamic beginnings of the modern period.
Tomioka Tessai (1836-1924)
Imao Keinen (1845-1924)
Tajika Chikuson (1864-1922)
Set of Five Blue-and-white Sencha Cups
Japan, Taishō period, 1911-1912
Porcelain decorated in underglaze blue
Purchase, 2005 (13226.1-5)
Tomioka Tessai (1836–1924)
Tanaka Hakuin (1865–1934)
Tajika Chikuson (1864–1922)
Hashimoto Kansetsu (1883–1945)
Stone in the Shape of Mount Fuji, Storage Bag, Album of Three Paintings of Mount Fuji, and Miniature Table Screen
Japan, Meiji period (1868–1912), 1911
Stone with quartz markings, ink and color on silk (bag), ink and color on paper (album), and ink on satin with bamboo frame (screen)
Gift of Drs. Edmund and Julie Lewis in Honor ofStephen Little, 2002 (12289.1–4)