The Avant Garde of “Nihonga”

This afternoon I cycled across the river to the Higashiyama area of the Kyoto to the National Museum of Modern Art to see the current exhibition of paintings by the Japanese Avant -Garde group “Rekitei Bijutsu Kyokai”. Founded in the late 1930’s, the painters in this group sought to break with the traditional Japanese painterly subject matter of nature and harmonious landscapes to develop a more “modern” approach, influenced by Western painting- particularly drawing on ideas from Abstract Expressionism, Surrealism and Cubism.

After leaving the museum I cycled further east along the canal to the Nanzen-Ji temple complex.¬† I spent some time around the pond and in the “Crane and Turtle” garden of Konchi-In and then visited the Kotoku-an sub-temple before climbing up the hills to the secluded¬† Nanzen-Ji-Oku-No-In shrine.

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