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Collection

An image of Designs of birds, flowers and figures on fans by Kamisaka SEKKA
Alternate image of Designs of birds, flowers and figures on fans by Kamisaka SEKKA Alternate image of Designs of birds, flowers and figures on fans by Kamisaka SEKKA

Kamisaka SEKKA

(Japan 1866 – 1942)

Title
Designs of birds, flowers and figures on fans
Other titles:
Birds, flowers and figures on scattered fans
Place of origin
Japan
Period
Shôwa period 1926 - 1988 → Japan
Taishô period 1912 - 1926 → Japan
Year
1920-1940
Media category
Painting
Materials used
pair of six-fold screen; ink and colour on gold ground
Dimensions

126.0 x 320.0cm each:

a - right screen; 126 x 320 cm

b - left screen; 126 x 320 cm

Signature & date
Signed: Sekka hitsu (painted by Sekka), seal
Credit
Yasuko Myer Bequest Fund 2011
Accession number
219.2011.a-b
Location
Not on display
Further information

Kamisaka Sekka is considered to be one of Japan’s most significant artists, designers and art instructors of the first half of the 20th century. By employing newly developed aniline dyes and fusing motifs and decorative styles of Art Nouveau, especially the British Arts and Crafts Movement with traditional Rinpa painting styles and motifs, Sekka imbued Japanese designs with a flair of modernity and timeless, international appeal.

This pair of six-fold screens is a wonderful illustration of a 'picture-in-picture' composition (gachūga), in which the main subject of the screens – 17 fully opened fans – are themselves decorated with motifs drawn from courtly novels and poetry, as well as flowers and birds of the four seasons. The designs on the fans are carefully chosen to suggest a pictorial history of the Rinpa lineage: abbreviated landscape motifs in gold and silver paint and scenes based on the classical literature typical of Sōtatsu, stylised Kōrin waves and naturalistic Hōitsu flower paintings. Sekka includes images that are recurrent in his own works such as mushroom-shaped pine trees, red maples or cranes and pines, thereby firmly positioning himself within the Rinpa legacy.

Kamisaka Sekka: A dawn of modern Japanese design, AGNSW 2012, pg 85.

Bibliography (1)

Khanh Trinh (Editor), Kamisaka Sekka: dawn of modern Japanese design, Sydney, 2012, 84-85 (colour illus.). cat.no. 32

Exhibition history (2)

One hundred flowers (2011), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Sep 2011–15 Jan 2012

Kamisaka Sekka - Dawn of modern Japanese design, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 21 Jun 2012–26 Aug 2012