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Imaginary Landscape: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Sakaki Hyakusen probably developed his interest in Chinese painting because of his family's business of selling Chinese medicinal herbs. As one of the pioneers of Nanga painting, a style inspired by the great tradition of scholar painting in China, Hyakusen experimented widely. Here, curious scale discrepancies and spatial ambiguities suggest Hyakusen's artistic experimentation. The mixing of various thematic motifs, too, betrays his unfamiliarity with stock Chinese themes. Details such as the descending geese and the scholars who look toward a distant temple from a rocky ledge usually pertain to the famous Chinese theme of the "Eight Views of the Hsiao and Hsiang Rivers." However, the cranes, waterfalls, and the fantastic quality of the landscape itself are elements common to paintings of the "Isles of the Immortals." As a Japanese, unfettered by Chinese convention, Hyakusen was free to playfully build his landscape from such structurally and thematically divergent parts.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: March 11, 2009