Author(s): Khanh Trinh
This lavishly illustrated book brings to light the diverse work and the growing influence of this early 20th century Japanese artist and designer. Kamisaka Sekka (18661942), little known until recent years, is being reappreciated and influencing a new generation of artists and designers in Japan and beyond. Through over 200 illustrations discover the work of Kamisaka Sekka as well as early Rinpa masters and contemporary artist such as Yamaguchi Ai, Yamamoto Taro, Sydney based fashion designer Akira Isogawa and Kyoto-based textile artists Kenzo and Hiromu Takao. Sekka was awakened to an ancient and truly Japanese aesthetic through his travels in Europe where he saw the art nouveau style as well as the influence of Japonisme on European art. The aesthetic he revived is the art of Rinpa which was practised in Japan in late 16th and early 17th centuries when Kyoto was the country's capital and cultural centre. Sekka sought to revive the courtly beauty of old Kyoto through his transmission of the Rinpa style into the modern industrial and consumer age, forging a unique visual language.
Drawing on subjects such as birds, flowers and classical narrative scrolls, he created sumptuous, refined works not only in painting but also textiles, lacquerware, ceramics, furnishings, architecture and garden design. Blurring the boundary between art and craft, Sekka aimed to imbue all objects in our daily lives with an aesthetic quality.