NEO-KAKEJIKU uses the latest technology and modern interpretations to give a new look to Japan’s classic kakejiku hanging scrolls. Typically displayed in tokonoma alcoves, kakejiku hanging scrolls are found in tea ceremony rooms, ryokan inn guest rooms, martial arts dojos, and the most important room of the house.
An essential aspect of the kakejiku is that it is not intended to be hung permanently. It is frequently changed depending on occasions, guests, and seasons. For example, cherry blossom in spring, peonies in early summer, or calligraphy simply saying 風 (kaze lit. wind) in summer to invoke the thought of a cool breeze. In NEO-KAKEJIKU a monitor is installed where usually there would be paper showing a painting or calligraphy. Moving images produced by five different artists bring the kakejiku to life.
Artworks presented are:
・Iruka-kun, Maneki-neko with cherry blossom by AC-bu – animation team AC-bu created their hit Iruka-kun dolphin character in 2010. The popular dolphin has featured in fashion collaborations, music videos, LINE stickers, art exhibitions and a campaign by JR East train company and Tokyo Metropolitan Police. Iruka-kun is a therapist with healing powers. In this artwork the character embodies a maneki-neko lucky cat welcoming people to Japan. This work was created with the hope that visitors who see him will be relieved of their travel fatigue. The maneki-neko is a Japanese lucky charm said to have originated in the culture of the townspeople of Edo (now Tokyo) during the Edo period (1603-1868). It is popular throughout Japan as a mascot that invites good fortune.
・dyebirth_seeing as by Creative Label nor – looking like a moving ink painting of tree branches and flowers, rocks and clouds, mountains and rivers, dyebirth is constantly changing organic patterns made through digitally controlled chemical reactions of water, ink and chemical substances. The unpredictable chemical reactions create patterns that blend together and eventually turn to black, an insipid, lifeless state, reminding us of the diversity and cycle of life. The artists were inspired by suibokuga (lit. ‘ink wash painting’) a style of painting that uses the shades of black ink, introduced to Japan from China during the Kamakura period (1185-1333) and evolved thereafter.
・ Into the Bamboo by MIYAZAKI Natsujikei – is a contemporary interpretation of the ancient Japanese folk story The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, in which a mysterious princess comes from the moon and is discovered as a tiny baby inside the stalk of a bamboo plant. A pile of vending machine capsule toys are pictured at the bottom of the frame. The floating girl is inspired by the princess. MIYAZAKI dreams about the layers sheltering the girl - the bamboo grove, shoji screens, the regal, twelve-layered robe, and secretly imagines what she might be wearing underneath. . The artist sees this as a reflection of the daily life we now live, with our private expressions hidden behind masks.
・ Tengami by Nyamyam – a digital artwork edition of the Tengami video game, which places you in the role of a samurai who must explore a mystical pop-up book world. The textures in Tengami are based on Japanese paper called washi. Handmade from plant fibers using an ancient Japanese manufacturing method, the use of washi adds beauty and depth to the visuals.
・ What is in the sea, is also in me. - YOSHIGAI Nao – a nighttime swim in the sea and the first work on Western medicine published in Japanese provides the stimulus for YOSHIGAI’s video artwork. A revelation to Japanese medicine, Dutch text on anatomy, Ontleedkundige Tafelen, was translated into Japanese in 1774 by SUGITA Genpaku. YOSHIGAI explains, “I dived into the sea at night and felt that what is in the body is also in the sea. In the ocean, life and death are mixed together. I assume that when SUGITA Genpaku and his colleagues dissected the body and sketched the organs, they felt as if they were touching the inside of their own living body. With respect to the Anatomical Tables developed by SUGITA, I hope to touch the universe of the body that has yet to be revealed.”