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Hillsides in Fog (Printed on Japanese washi paper and mounted on a scroll)
Kenji Wakasugi
Item Number:A16576
Mon. - Fri. : 11 a.m.to 6 p.m. | Saturdays by appointment

Special Reception with exhibiting artists :
November 8, 6 - 8 p.m.

Please join us for a special reception to celebrate and welcome our artists,
Suikei Saito and Jihei Murase, from Japan !
A modern Japanese tea ceremony will be performed by Jihei Murase.

*Please note that our gallery will be closed on
November 1st from 11 AM- 3 PM & 4th to 7th , due to outside project.


Ippodo Gallery is pleased to present a selection of works by nine artists, in conjunction with the exhibition, A Teahouse for Philadelphia, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA). Ippodo artists, Jihei Murase, Tohru Matsuzaki, Suikei Saito, and Kenji Wakasugi, will be on view through July 30, 2018, so Ippodo welcomes the chance to run these artists in a concurrent showcase at our New York gallery, with additional works on view by five artists -- Keiji Ito, Akito Nizato, Shiro Tsujimura, Koji Hatakeyama, and Kyokko Kaida.

The exhibition centers around Wabi Sabi, a cultural tradition rooted in the beauty of imperfection and impermanence. Authenticity in this careful carelessness knows no translation, but is a celebration of all things natural and unadorned. It is a meditative aesthetic, and one greatly esteemed in Japanese culture.

Each artist has an individual ability to express this Wabi Sabi ideal:

Jihei Murase (b. 1957) creates harmonious lacquerware from 100-year-old timber and straight virgin trees, dried and prized for delicate, thin grooves to emphasize forms created by nature. Lacquerware by Tohru Matsuzaki (b. 1944) also uses precious zelkova wood, but the artist applies his hand to chiseling the grooves of the rich vermillion red, black and silver. Ceramics by Keiji Ito (b. 1935) are minimalistic, world renowned Shijo Tsujimura (b. 1947) ‘s rare pieces from his time in Devon (UK in 1993) are whimsical, and by younger Akio Niisato (b. 1977), having previously taught a Harvard ceramics from 2009-2012, all continue to evolve from a place of passion and creativity, and have been shown all over the world.
Kyokko Kaida (b.1946)’s bamboo tea scoops are poetic, while the weathered surfaces of Koji Hatakeyama (b.1956) ’s bronze boxes convey the material’s individual history.
The juxtaposition of forms, past and present ideals, and a delicacy of craft continue through more innovative techniques. This can be seen in the works by calligrapher, Suikei Saito (b. 1945), who explores stillness, nothingness, and emptiness. As a photographer, Kenji Wakasugi (b. 1941) digitally manipulates images on landscapes, striking a balance between tradition and modernity. Wakasugi uses Sumi ink, pigments, and gold and silver leaf on scanned photographs, with his most recent mixed media work an homage to the tea masters, Sen Rikyu and Oribe Huruta.

Ultimately this continues Ippodo’s efforts to sync with the natural world in an ongoing appreciation of the beauty of both artwork and the earth itself. This emphasis on technique and materials culled from the earth syncs with the ideals of Wabi Sabi, in that there is a play between tradition and modernity, while embracing the curvatures found organically. Through changing technologies and mixed media, each artist maintains these ideals of discovery and reverence, making for a worthy group show of proven museum-quality works.
About the Artist
Wakasugi combines his photographs of fusuma sliding doors with images and scenes he has captured around the world, to create the Fusuma Photographs. Recently, Wakasugi is exploring new territories in photography by employing mixed media such as washi paper, sumi ink, gold leaf, gold powder, and flattened silver sheets into his works.

1941 Born in Osaka
1960 Graduated from Saga Prefectural Karatsu West High School
1967 Enrolled in Tokyo Technical School of Photography in Osaka (present Tokyo Visual Arts)
1969 Graduated from Tokyo Technical School of Photography in Osaka
Started working at Roppongi Studio in Tokyo
1975 Started working as a freelance photographer
1996 A photo book My Shangri-La was published by Hirakawa Publishers
1997 Exhibition My Shangri-La at Canon Salon in Ginza, Tokyo
A photo book My Shangri-La received a prize in the Art Directors Club 76th annual awards, New York
2002 Exhibition Cosmo Tree at Japanese Embassy in Belgium
2014 Exhibition DIORAMA (Fusuma Photography) at Nikon Salon in Ginza, Tokyo
2016 Exhibition Japanese Fusuma Photography by Kenji Wakasugi - Synthesis – at Ippodo Gallery New York & Ippodo Gallery Tokyo

Public Collection:
Philadelphia Museum of Art / Philadelphia, PA