KŪKAI: SUN AND MOON

October 10, 2019 - November 22, 2019
Opening Reception: October 10, 5-8pm

KŪKAI: SUN AND MOON
Grand Opening Exhibition at 32 E 67th street gallery


Kūkai’s View, 2017, 180 x 1125 cm (set of 3 panels), fusuma painting with earth, sumi ink, mica, and gold on washi paper.

NEW YORK, NY – Ippodo Gallery celebrates its brand new location on 32 E 67th Street with a spectacular exhibition of paintings by Ken Matsubara from his “Kūkai’s View ‘Sun and Moon’” series. The concept for this series derives from the Heian period with the renowned Buddhist monk, poet and scholar, Kūkai (774-835), who retreated to the caves of Muroto Cape in the Shikoku region of Japan to meditate. There, Kūkai saw nothing but sky, sea, and the cycles of night and day. He repeated the Buddhist Ākāśagarbha mantra endlessly until he felt at one with the natural cycles of the sun and moon he saw before him. It was here, at the young age of 19, that he achieved a flash of enlightenment and thereafter named himself Kū (Sky) Kai (Sea).

About 1200 years later, in 2015, Ken Matsubara also traveled to Muroto Cape to stay in the same caves. He wanted to form his own connection with the mind and experiences of Kūkai. For two years, he contemplated his vision for a painting. In January 2017, he started painting. In September 2017, the series was complete. On Echigo Washi paper, Ken Matsubara first applied a thin coat of red, bengala oxide for a more flexible and textured background. He then used a mixture of Yamashina earth with acrylic resin to produce his unique mud base, which he outlined with rich, sumi ink and silvery mica. The focus of each painting- the sun or moon - is made with gold or white gold for a lustrous depiction of the serene sky.

These paintings were originally commissioned as Fusuma doors by Seizo Hayashiya (1928-2017) who was the former director of the Musée Tomo, honorary member of Tokyo National Museum, and a great connoisseur of teaware. They were destined for the Jingoji temple where Kūkai stayed after returning from China with Buddhist teachings. However, as Hayashiya passed before the completion of the works, the series is now making its overseas debut at Ippodo Gallery, New York. Ken Matsubara’s paintings have a quiet power that unites us with an intangible and universal energy. As an homage to his inspiration, underneath each panel is Matsubara’s favorite poem by Kūkai, ‘Hizo Hoyaku.’ The poem is a reminder of how little we truly know about ourselves in this grand universe.

In addition to the works pictured, there will be 15-20 more pieces, including his symbolic “Scenery (Kei)” series. This exhibtion will mark the grand opening of Ippodo Gallery New York’s new space on 32 E. 67th Street. It will be located on the third floor of an Art Deco building at a prime location in the art gallery district of New York. We hope to continue transmitting knowledge of Japanese culture in this new location through exhibitions of outstanding art-crafts created by contemporary artists, both now and into the future.




Ippodo Gallery Grand Opening at 67th Street location | Kukai: Sun and Moon by Ken Matsubara from Shoko Aono on Vimeo.

CINNABAR INCENSE CONTAINER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C2349AP
NATURAL RACE
MIDORI TSUKADA
C20032
SEKISOH
YUKIYA IZUMITA
C20217
OLIBE TEA BOWL MADE IN DEVON
SHIRO TSUJIMURA
C19756
BLACK ORIBE TEA BOWL
SHIRO TSUJIMURA
C19740
SHIGARAKI FLOWER VASE
SHIRO TSUJIMURA
C19732
IDO TEA BOWL
SHIRO TSUJIMURA
C19734
SHINO TEA BOWL
SHIRO TSUJIMURA
C19750
TEA BOWL
MOKICHI OTSUKA
C18310
TEA BOWL
YUKIYA IZUMITA
C18038
EIGHT FACES
KOJI HATAKEYAMA
C19974
IGA POT
SHIRO TSUJIMURA
C19733
IGA ROUND POT
SHIRO TSUJIMURA
C19731
NATURAL ASH GLAZE LARGE JAR
YUI TSUJIMURA
C16686
SOUND OF MOON/ 月聲
KEN MATSUBARA
39 1/2 x 27 3/4 Inch 100x70cm Japanese painting with earth, sumi ink, mica, and gold on washi paper
A19977
SCENERY ’15.10-09/景 ’15.10-09
KEN MATSUBARA
24 1/4 x 35 3/4 Inch 61 x 91cm Japanese painting with earth, sumi ink, mica, and gold on washi paper in frame
A19980
SCENERY ’'19.8-2/景 ’'19.8-2
KEN MATSUBARA
23 1/2 x 48 Inch 60 X122cm Japanese painting with earth, sumi ink, mica, and gold on washi paper
A19979
SOUND OF MOON/ 月聲
KEN MATSUBARA
34 1/4 59 1/4 Inch 87 x 150cm Japanese painting with earth, sumi ink, mica, and gold on washi paper on panel
A19976
SUN / 日
KEN MATSUBARA
H55 x W31 ½ Inch  H140 x W80cm Japanese painting with earth, sumi ink, mica, and gold on washi paper on panel
A19967
MOON / 月
KEN MATSUBARA
49 1/4 x 48 1/ Inch 122x122cm Japanese painting with earth, sumi ink, mica, and gold on washi paper on panel
A19966
SUN / 日
KEN MATSUBARA
48 1/4 x 48 1/ Inch 122x122cm Japanese painting with earth, sumi ink, mica, and gold on washi paper on panel
A19965
KUKAI'S VIEW; SUN AND MOON, CRESCENT MOON / 朏
KEN MATSUBARA
H71 x 187 Inch H180×W475 cm (Set of 4 panels) fusuma painting with earth, sumi ink, mica, and white gold on washi paper
A19964
KUKAI'S VIEW; SUN AND MOON, FULL MOON / 盈月
KEN MATSUBARA
H71 x 187 Inch H180×W475 cm (Set of 4 panels) fusuma painting with earth, sumi ink, mica, and white gold on washi paper
A19963
KUKAI'S VIEW; SUN AND MOON, HALF MOON / 玄月
KEN MATSUBARA
H71 x 187 Inch H180×W475 cm (Set of 4 panels) fusuma painting with earth, sumi ink, mica, and white gold on washi paper
A19962
KUKAI'S VIEW; SUN AND MOON, SUN AND VENUS /旭日昃星
KEN MATSUBARA
H71 x 442 Inch H180×W1125 cm (Set of 3 panels) fusuma painting with earth, sumi ink, mica, and gold on washi paper
A19961
SHIGARAKI JAR
SHIRO TSUJIMURA
C18871
SPHERE SHAPED JAR,NATURAL ASH GLAZE
SHIRO TSUJIMURA
C18398
VERMILLION AND SILVER LACQUER MINIMATURE SHRINE
TOHRU MATSUZAKI
H 15 W 9 D 4 1/2 in H38.2 W22 D11.5cm
C18584
CHESTNUT LACQUER VERMILLION RIDGED TRAY
TOHRU MATSUZAKI
H2 W24 D11 in H4.5 W60.4 D27.5 cm
C18326
THREE FOOT STAND (BIG) TEA CONTAINER WITH LID, "NEGORO-NURI" STYLE
JIHEI MURASE
H6.5Φ3.2 cm H 2.6Φ 1.3 in
C18387
COLORED LACQUER INCENSE CONTAINER 'NOVEMBER MOUNTAIN’
SHINYA YAMAMURA
H2 1/4 W3 1/2 D2 3/4 in H5.3 W8.7 D6.5 cm
C17384
LUMINESCENT TEA BOWL
AKIO NIISATO
H3 Φ4 in H7.4 Φ9.7 cm
C17674
SOOT BAMBOO SHAKUHACHI FLUTE HANGING VASE
HAFU MATSUMOTO
C16756
KAEDE ( MAPLE ) NURIWAKE TRAY WITH LEGS
TOHRU MATSUZAKI
H1 2/4 W17 D10 2/4 in H3.3 W42.6 D26.5 cm
C14705
ABALONE SHELL CIRCULAR PATTERN LACQUER CUBIC BOX
SHINYA YAMAMURA
H3 W3 D3 in H7 W7 D7 cm
C14724
SUKUNAHIKONA-NO-MIKOTO ( GOD OF HEALING AND SAKE BREWING )
HARUMI NOGUCHI
H8xW5xD6in H20.3xW12.7xD15cm A small God who appears in Japanese mythology as the maker of Japan. He is the God of medicine, sake and agriculture.
B13700
BUDDHA
SHO KISHINO
H4 1/2 W23/4 D2 3/4 in H11.2 W6.6 D10.6 cm 2014 Japanese cypress
B13473
NATURAL ASH GLAZE LARGE JAR WITH PETAL SHAPED OPENING
YUI TSUJIMURA
H17 1/2 W20 1/2 in H44.2 W52 cm
C9692
TSUKUYOMI
HARUMI NOGUCHI
W5 1/2 x D4 3/4 x H11 in W13.5 x D12 x H28 cm Tsukuyomi is the younger brother of the Sun Goddess. He angered his sister who vowed never to see him again and that is why night and day became separate. His name means ‘to read the moon’, in other words, he is the god of calendars.
B6648