First – Step | 一歩 2020

SIZE: H350mm W700mm
YEAR: 2020
雲肌麻紙, 岩絵具, 金箔

TITLE: First step
SIZE: 13.7 x 27.5 inch (framed)
YEAR: 2020
Kumohadamashi Japanese Paper, Mineral Pigments, Gold leaves

Although quail are often used as motifs in Japanese Nihonga painting, it was also one of the prompt motifs I was assigned during my entrance exams for Tokyo University of the Arts. I passed the exam which in turn was the first-step in my path to becoming a painter. Therefore to this day I sometimes draw quail to ensure that I never lose sight of where I come from as an artist, and is why I chose to name this painting, First Step.

“For these fan paintings, I have also included drawn elements onto the background mat portion of the frame. Among the various picture mounting styles for Japanese art, there is one called kaki-hyogu, meaning ‘a picture mount that is drawn upon,’ and was particularly favoured by Rinpa-school artists. Originally, there existed the practice of painting decorative patterns upon the fabric border of paintings. It was this effect that I was aiming for in my own works here. So as not to interfere with the motif on the front-facing paper portion of my piece, I achieved my desired look by applying foils and colours to the reverse side of the silk.”