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Late spring mist (1)



Hirai Motoko


1965 –

No image
  • Details

    Alternative title
    Banshun kasumi (ichi)
    Place where the work was made
    Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
    Media category
    Materials used
    116.0 x 72.0 cm image; 120.0 x 77.5 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r., in Japanese, pencil "Hirai Motoko '91".

    Gift of the artist 1993
    Not on display
    Accession number
    Artist information
    Hirai Motoko

    Works in the collection


  • About

    This lush, poetic print reiterates the traditional Japanese sensitivity to the nuances of seasonal changes. Japanese poetry is rich in evocations of spring mist and rain-appreciated for their intrinsic beauty as much as for their associations with the ephemeral and transient. In depicting the scene from her studio early in the morning after working all night, Hirai has captured the poignant sense of intimacy and loneliness that a veil of mist can evoke. The subtle colours reflect a native sensibility towards neutrals and greys - an aesthetic reflected in various poems and essays, and maintained even today in the preference for the stone and metallic facings on modem buildings. Also traditional to Japanese aesthetics is the quality of suggestiveness - here captured beautifully where the mood is intensified and enriched by its very ambiguity and mystery. By deliberately responding to the theme of the urban bonsai by not depicting the bonsai, but only the urban atmosphere in which such a thing might grow, Hirai unconsciously continues a deeply rooted and ancient Japanese aesthetic of ambiguous implication, that in literature is best expressed in 'haiku'.

    Hirai has obtained the moist atmospheric effect through applying many layers of colour. In 1991 she won a major prize at the Japan Print Association's annual exhibition for a similar work to this.

    Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 32-33.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • The Urban Bonsai, Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane, 04 Mar 1992–04 May 1992

      The Urban Bonsai, National Art Gallery, Wellington, Wellington, 20 Jun 1992–09 Aug 1992

      The Urban Bonsai, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, 12 Sep 1992–29 Oct 1992

      The Urban Bonsai, Manawatu Art Gallery, New Zealand, 13 Nov 1992–10 Jan 1993

      The Urban Bonsai, The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne, 18 Mar 1993–25 Apr 1993

      The Urban Bonsai, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 May 1993–01 Aug 1993

      The Urban Bonsai, Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, Emu Plains, 11 Mar 1994–24 Apr 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, 19 May 1994–19 Jun 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown, 15 Jul 1994–21 Aug 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Bank Art Museum Moree, Moree, 11 Nov 1994–24 Dec 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah, 01 Feb 1995–05 Mar 1995

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication