A Magnificent Mural “Wind/Time” by Fukui Kotaro − Guardian Deities of Hakone Soaring through the Air −

Since the Momoyama period, the rich and beautiful tradition of Japanese decorative arts has been passed down mainly by artists of the Rimpa school. Tawaraya Sotatsu was one of the original and most important proponents of the school and his seminal work “Wind God and Thunder God Screens” found in the Ken’nin-ji Temple, Kyoto, is a national treasure. Ogata Korin and Sakai Hoitsu were among the artists following in his footsteps, many of whom took up the challenge of copying or imitating this superb work; however, they were generally all relatively small folding screens similar to the original picture. Today, some 400 years later, the mural entitled “Wind/Time” by Fukui Kotaro presented at the Museum facade, is in direct contrast to these smaller works on an enormous scale befitting its subject matter; the work measures 12 meters high and 30 meters wide. It is a fine example of his dynamic and bold creative approach.

These two Divine Beings, eternally offering heavenly protection, safeguard the picturesque and ancient nature of the mountains in Hakone and the new and resplendent Okada Museum of Art. Painted on 640 gold-ground panels, these vibrant and magnificently potent gods pulse with power and ride in an ever-changing sky of clouds reflected on the glass surface of the work. Please feel free to take the time to appreciate this modern Wind God and Thunder God of our present Heisei era, while soaking in the free-flowing hot-spring footbath.

(Commentary by Kobayashi Tadashi)

Artist Profile

Fukui Kotaro

Japanese-style painter. Born in Tokyo, 1969. In 1994 graduated from Tama Art University of Fine of Arts.M.F.A, Tokyo. In 1995 awarded 9th the year 2001 Aogaki Japanese Art Award, Tokyo Shinbun Prize. In 2004 selected for “Agency for Cultural Affairs 2003 The selected works of purchasing”. In 2006 awarded the medal with a Dark Navy Blue Ribbon. In 2008 awarded Eyes of West and East, Kawakita Michiaki prize.

His grandfather, Fukui Kotei, was a disciple of Kawabata Gyokusho and a painter belonging to the Maruyama school; he served as a professor at Tokyo School of Fine Arts (the present Tokyo University of the Arts).

The artist often creates pieces depicting flowers and birds such as ostriches, irises, or tree peonies, and actively paints in front of live audiences. He has held numerous solo exhibitions in many countries including Japan, New York, Shanghai, and Germany. In 2008 he established his studio in New York.

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