Canon

Activities

September 28, 2022

Experiencing Appreciation of Art Through Your Own Answers – Appreciating “The Wind and Thunder Gods” and “Waves of Matsushima”

On Thursday, July 28, at the “NIKKEI STEAM 2022 SYMPOSIUM” hosted by Nikkei Osaka Head Office, an art appreciation workshop using high-resolution facsimiles of “The Wind and Thunder Gods” and “Waves of Matsushima” was held. The lecturer was Yukiho Suenaga*, who, as a junior high and high school art teacher, focused on “expanding one’s views” through art. Her book, Thinking of Art from the Age of 13 (DIAMOND, Inc./ISBN:9784478109182), which contains the contents of this class aimed at the general public, is a bestseller with more than 170,000 copies sold.

In the workshop, the participants, which were of different generations, ranging from high school students to adults, experienced appreciation of art “through their own answers”, using Tawaraya Sotatsu’s “The Wind and Thunder Gods” and “Waves of Matsushima” as subjects.

First, each participant carefully observed each work, wrote down their thoughts and realization, and asked themselves, “What is the source of this feeling?” “What do I feel from there?” Next, they contradicted their own view to consider other perspectives and asked themselves, “What if this was not the case...?” Finally, based on these views, they held short discussions, and shared their written interpretations of the works with the other participants and held dialogues.

By following this method, the participants studied each work intently, and there were in fact a variety of “one’s own answers” from the participants. For “Waves of Matsushima”, one participant came up with the story of the earth god appearing in the rough waters of the Sea of Japan and calming the waves; another participant likened the work to the cosmos inside a bowl of ramen, and felt that it represented love for ramen. For “The Wind and Thunder Gods”, there were as many opinions as there were participants—some thought it depicted the wind and thunder gods fighting, another thought they were playing tricks on each other, and yet another participant thought they were fishing together.

Ms. Suenaga remarked, “Japanese art looks different depending on who is viewing it. This idea must have been rooted since the ancient days. While cherishing the point that one should adopt their own view, it is also important to explore the possibility of different views by constantly contradicting your own viewpoint.”

*Yukiho Suenaga: Profile
Art teacher/Artist
Graduated with undergraduate degree from Musashino University, College of Art and Design, Department of Sculpture; completed a degree from Tokyo Gakugei University, Graduate School of Education (Art Education). She is currently an instructor at Urawa University, Department of Education for Children, and is also an individual researcher at Tokyo Gakugei University.
Ms. Suenaga has expanded exploratory art classes at junior high schools and high schools with a focus on “expanding one’s views” through art. Currently, She conducts more than 100 activities per year related to art thinking, such as education in art and design to nurture creativity in children, lectures at various educational institutions, seminars for adults, etc. Participants provided feedback such as, “I didn’t know art was so fun!” and “I now understand the basics behind thinking about things.”
She authored the book Thinking of Art from the Age of 13 (Diamond, Inc./ ISBN:9784478109182), which is a bestseller with more than 160,000 copies
*Yukiho Suenaga: Profile
Art teacher/Artist
Graduated with undergraduate degree from Musashino University, College of Art and Design, Department of Sculpture; completed a degree from Tokyo Gakugei University, Graduate School of Education (Art Education). She is currently an instructor at Urawa University, Department of Education for Children, and is also an individual researcher at Tokyo Gakugei University.
Ms. Suenaga has expanded exploratory art classes at junior high schools and high schools with a focus on “expanding one’s views” through art. Currently, She conducts more than 100 activities per year related to art thinking, such as education in art and design to nurture creativity in children, lectures at various educational institutions, seminars for adults, etc. Participants provided feedback such as, “I didn’t know art was so fun!” and “I now understand the basics behind thinking about things.”
She authored the book Thinking of Art from the Age of 13 (Diamond, Inc./ ISBN:9784478109182), which is a bestseller with more than 160,000 copies
Thoughtfully appreciating Waves of Matsushima from top to bottom, left to right
Thoughtfully appreciating Waves of Matsushima from top to bottom, left to right
Appreciating The Wind and Thunder Gods in one’s own way
Appreciating The Wind and Thunder Gods in one’s own way
Sharing and chatting about their thoughts
Sharing and chatting about their thoughts
Yukiho Suenaga, who acted as the lecturer
Yukiho Suenaga, who acted as the lecturer

July 1, 2020

New Screen Experience Using High Resolution Facsimile of “National Treasure – Amusement under the Blossoms” in a Limited-visitors Exhibit at Tokyo National Museum

On July 1 - 2, 2020, “National Treasure – Amusement under the Blossoms”, an event hosted by the National Center for the Promotion of Cultural Properties (CPCP) for a new screen experience using high resolution facsimile, was held at the Tokyo National Museum.

The National Treasure “Amusement under the Blossoms” is artwork from the 17th century that depicts noblewomen dancing under fully bloomed cherry blossoms. The center panels of the right screen were destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake, and presently, blank washi Japanese paper is used in their place to make up the screen. As part of a joint research project with CPCP, a high resolution facsimile was produced using the techniques cultivated through the Tsuzuri Project, and work to restore the destroyed portion was carried out.

The destroyed portion had depicted a festive party scene featuring noblewomen, which serves as the main theme of the screen, and a record of the entire image on a glass photographic plate taken around 1911 remains. This glass photographic plate was scanned, the black-and-white data that was obtained was compared with the surviving portions, gradation corrections were made and then color reproduction was performed.

With regard to the color reproduction, the colors of drawings that overlap between the destroyed portion and surviving portions, such as the background and cherry blossom tree, were captured by extracting the color of the surviving portions and coloring was carried out for those portions under supervision by researchers at the Tokyo National Museum. While referring to the partial copy of the original work that remains as the only clue, only the parts for which the colors could be determined were colored, and other parts were left in black and white.

The high resolution facsimile that reproduced the destroyed portion was planned on being exhibited as part of the special exhibition “The World of Traditional Performing Arts” at the Tokyo National Museum, but due to the coronavirus outbreak, this exhibition has been put on hold. An exhibit for the high resolution facsimile of “Amusement under the Blossoms” was held upon recruiting visitors for this experience. During the limited-visitors exhibit, the artwork was exhibited in a whimsical space onto which cherry blossoms in full bloom were projected using projection mapping. Over the course of the two days, 72 people making up 55 groups were able to experience a dream-like space.

High resolution facsimile of “Amusement under the Blossoms” Right screen(The 2 panels in the center were restored)
High resolution facsimile of “Amusement under the Blossoms” Right screen
(The 2 panels in the center were restored)
New screen experience through high resolution facsimile of “National Treasure – Amusement under the Blossoms” (4’00)
New screen experience through high resolution facsimile of “National Treasure – Amusement under the Blossoms” (4’00)
New screen experience through high resolution facsimile of “National Treasure – Amusement under the Blossoms” (4’00)

November 3, 2018

Workshop held at the Okyokan Teahouse of Tokyo National Museum.

On November 3 (Sat.), 2018, the facsimile of the “Pine Trees” folding screen (from the collection of Tokyo National Museum) was used for a workshop held at the Okyokan Teahouse in the garden of Tokyo National Museum.

The workshop consisted of a session for families with children and a session for adults, attended by a total of 38 participants.
The workshop gave participants the opportunity to experience how the screens were originally used, as they were invited to think about how the screens can be arranged, and the specialist staff with expert knowledge in the field of art recreated their ideas. Participants were also able to enjoy viewing the screens in a number of different ways, including in darkness, natural light, and lighting resembling candlelight.

Participants think about how to arrange the screens
Participants think about how to arrange the screens
Participants try out their arrangement of the screens
Participants try out their arrangement of the screens
Participants view the screens in natural light.
Participants view the screens in natural light.
Participants view the screens in light resembling candlelight
Participants view the screens in light resembling candlelight

September 3, 2017

Tokyo National Museum holds Diving into Screen Paintings — an interactive family-oriented program

The Tokyo National Museum held the interactive family-oriented program, Diving into Screen Paintings: A New Way to Experience Japanese Art, between July 4 and September 3, 2017 in Honkan Rooms T4 and T5.

The exhibition was designed to give visitors a new way to experience and enjoy Japanese art made possible by high-resolution reproductions.

Room T5 showcased a high-resolution facsimile of Pine Trees, held by the Tokyo National Museum. On entering the dim venue, visitors passed under curtains with projections of pine trees, drawing them into the world of Hasegawa Tohaku’s Pine Trees folding screens. The installation even included a breeze carrying the scent of pines to heighten the experience.

A 4K projector displayed exceedingly lifelike 4K images, intended to evoke the atmosphere of the folding screens, on a semicircular screen five meters in height and 15 meters in diameter. By sitting on tatami mats in front of the Pine Trees reproduction with no exhibition cases to interfere with the experience, visitors were able to view the folding screens as they were meant to be seen. Such an experience would not be possible with the original national treasures.

Room T4 featured a high-resolution facsimile of Cranes, held by the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. (The Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum holds the reproduction.) Visiting kids shouted in delight at the interactive installation, in which projected cranes flapped their wings when visitors approach them. The cranes, projected on large screens, moved in response to visitors’ movements, after which they appeared to return back inside the folding screens.

Around 82,000 people visited the exhibition during its run, including many overseas visitors.

Watch the videos below to get a sense of the wonderful installations.

Entrance
Entrance
The installation in Room T5 of the Honkan
The installation in Room T5 of the Honkan
The installation in Room T4 of the Honkan
The installation in Room T4 of the Honkan
Diving into Screen Paintings(02'13")
Diving into Screen Paintings(02'13")
Diving into Screen Paintings(02'13")

October 22, 2016

Workshop held at the Kujokan Teahouse of Tokyo National Museum.

On October 22 (Sat.), 2016, the facsimile of the “Pine Trees” folding screen (from the collection of Tokyo National Museum) was used for a family-oriented workshop held at the Kujokan Teahouse in the garden of Tokyo National Museum.

The workshop consisted of a morning and an afternoon session, attended by nine groups and seven groups respectively, with a total of 40 participants.
The workshop gave participants the opportunity to experience how the screens were originally used, as they were invited to think about how the screens can be arranged, and the specialist staff with expert knowledge in the field of art recreated their ideas.
Participants were also able to enjoy viewing the screens in a number of different ways, including in darkness, natural light, and lighting resembling candlelight.

Staff explain the folding screens
Staff explain the folding screens
Participants think about how to arrange the screens
Participants think about how to arrange the screens
Participants try out their arrangement of the screens
Participants try out their arrangement of the screens
Participants view the screens in light resembling candlelight
Participants view the screens in light resembling candlelight

October 13, 2016

Mitsui Memorial Museum holds a class at a Tokyo junior high school

On October 13 (Thu.), 2016, staff from Mitsui Memorial Museum visited Minami Rokugo Junior High School in Ota ward, Tokyo, to hold a class using the facsimile of “Pine Trees in the Snow” (from the collection of Mitsui Memorial Museum) created by the Tsuzuri Project.

The class was attended by six classes of second year students—234 students in total. While folding screens are normally first seen in the light, staff place importance on students’ first glimpse of the work, by using the unique method of setting the screen up closed, darkening the room, and then unfolding the screen before students’ eyes.

This class is held as part of educational initiatives related to the Olympic and Paralympics, and students also considered ways of introducing the appeal of folding screens to people from overseas.

Ms. Kamei from Mitsui Memorial Museum
Ms. Kamei from Mitsui Memorial Museum
Students view the folding screens
Students view the folding screens
Students describe their impressions of the folding screens
Students describe their impressions of the folding screens
Ms. Sato conducts the Olympic and Paralympic educational activities
Ms. Sato conducts the Olympic and Paralympic educational activities

March 26, 2016

Workshop held at the Okyokan Teahouse of Tokyo National Museum.

On March 26 (Sat.), 2016, the facsimile of the “Pine Trees” folding screen (from the collection of Tokyo National Museum) was used for a family-oriented workshop held at the Okyokan Teahouse in the garden of Tokyo National Museum.

The workshop consisted of a morning and an afternoon session, attended by nine groups and nine groups respectively, with a total of 48 participants.
The workshop gave participants the opportunity to experience how the screens were originally used, as they were invited to think about how the screens can be arranged, and the specialist staff with expert knowledge in the field of art recreated their ideas. Participants were also able to enjoy viewing the screens in a number of different ways, including in darkness, natural light, and lighting resembling candlelight.

Staff explain the folding screens
Staff explain the folding screens
Participants think about how to arrange the screens
Participants think about how to arrange the screens
Participants try out their arrangement of the screens
Participants try out their arrangement of the screens
Participants view the screens in light resembling candlelight
Participants view the screens in light resembling candlelight