France / Japon
From the Edo and Meiji dynasties to today’s Showa dynasty, Japanese culture has always influenced the West, rapidly building a cultural bridge between East and West.
During the 1930s, a number of artists emigrated to Europe, bringing with them talents imbued with a thousand years of culture, and influencing French painters and sculptors in the process
Today, the Dutko Gallery highlights contemporary Japanese artists such as Shoko Koike, ceramist, who immortalises flowers in pure white stoneware with an opalescent heart, Setsuko Nagasawa, a ceramist whose encounter with American artists definitely influenced her work, leading to her use of a freer technique, Chieko Katsumata, a specialist in Chinese beef blood cutlery, who combines a technique of coloured engobes to produce a particular texture, Hitomi Uchikura and her subtle works of paper, glass and leather, and last but by no means least Kaneko Haruhiko, one of the members of the pottery studio of master ceramist Ishigaki-Yaki, whose work uses the ancestral «drop of oil» technique to make bowls used in the 16th century by the shoguns.
In this digitalised, accelerated, sometimes dehumanised century, these Japanese artists have lost nothing of their poetic philosophy, happily combining the beautiful with the useful, and sometimes even the useless – undoubtedly the greatest luxury of all.
Their work offers us an insight into another world, another reality, one that can transport us to a vaster universe. Through their vision of art, these Japanese artists invite us to decipher this other purified and spiritualised world.
Japanese works are juxtaposed with certain French artists, for whom the poetry and ancient traditions of Japan remain an inexhaustible source of inspiration.
The event «Japonismes 2018» also harks back to the first infatuation for this culture among French artists, especially among painters, largely influenced by 19th century Japanese prints.
A century and a half later, this great cultural season will strengthen the bond of friendship between the two peoples and highlight their common sensitivity: a deep interest in harmonious aesthetics and a taste for the art of living.