Sōtatsu: Making Waves
October 24, 2015‒January 31, 2016
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Tawaraya Sōtatsu (active circa 1600–40) is one of the most influential yet elusive figures in the history of Japanese visual culture. At a moment of rapid social transition in the early seventeenth century, Sōtatsu, a commoner who owned a Kyoto fan shop, interacted with a sophisticated elite and transformed fragments of the past into a recognizable yet revolutionary anchor of cultural identity. About three hundred years later, Freer Gallery of Art founder Charles Lang Freer played a major role in introducing Sōtatsu to the Western world.
"Sōtatsu: Making Waves" is the first in-depth examination of this artist in a Western context. The exhibition convenes approximately seventy works, including Sōtatsu masterpieces from Japanese, European, and US collections, as well as later homage works that demonstrate his long-ranging influence. Two of Sōtatsu’s most important paintings, the Freer’s "Waves at Matsushima" and "Dragons and Clouds," are included in this consideration of the artist’s goals, methods, and achievements.
"Sōtatsu: Making Waves" is co-organized by the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Japan Foundation. The exhibition is supported by All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. Special thanks to Tokyo University of the Arts. Generous support is provided by the Anne van Biema Endowment Fund.
Asian Wonders by Butterfly Tea
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Video by Hutomo Wicaksono