Rinpa is a style of Japanese art focused on abstracted natural motifs and allusions to classical literature. Coined in the early 1900s, Rinpa means “Rin School,” after painter Ogata Kōrin (1658–1716), whose work was critical to the later transmission of the tradition. Three techniques associated with Rinpa are tarashikomi, horinuri, and mokkotsu. In tarashikomi (dripping-in), the artist drips ink or color on wet surfaces, creating pooling effects. Horinuri (painting-by-carving) leaves initial ink outlines uncovered after shapes are filled with ink or color, so the surface looks carved. Mokkotsu (boneless) entails creating shapes without contours or lines defining edges and boundaries.
This rotation tells the story of later Rinpa style, introducing works by important artists active in the 1700s, 1800s, and early 1900s, including Kōrin and his brother Ogata Kenzan (1663–1743); Sakai Hōitsu (1761–1828), the Edo-based (present-day Tokyo) dynamo who revolutionized Rinpa painting; and Kamisaka Sekka (1866–1942), the Kyoto-based master of graphic design who delighted with his prints and drawings. (Gallery 235A)
Also, on view for the first time since 2014 are treasures of early Japanese Buddhist sculpture in bronze and wood, as well as an indigo-dyed sacred Buddhist sutra scroll written in gold and silver. A gorgeously woven silk Buddhist monk’s garment called a kesa is also on display. (Gallery 235B)