Canon

Activities

July 1, 2020

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

On July 1 - 2, 2020, “National Treasure – Merrymaking Under the Cherry 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 “Merrymaking Under the Cherry 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 “Merrymaking Under the Cherry 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 “Merrymaking Under tthe Cherry Blossoms” Right screen(The 2 panels in the center were restored)
High resolution facsimile of “Merrymaking Under tthe Cherry Blossoms” Right screen
(The 2 panels in the center were restored)
New screen experience through high resolution facsimile of “National Treasure – Merrymaking Under the Cherry Blossoms” (4’00)
New screen experience through high resolution facsimile of “National Treasure – Merrymaking Under the Cherry Blossoms” (4’00)
New screen experience through high resolution facsimile of “National Treasure – Merrymaking Under the Cherry 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