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Sacred Sutras and Profane Pledges

New York Asia Week, March 15 - 24, 2012

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Poetry Fragment
Scholten Japanese Art is pleased to announce our upcoming gallery exhibition, Sacred Sutras and Profane Pledges, an exhibition devoted to the art of Japanese calligraphy. We will also be participating in the Asia Week New York Open House Weekend (www.asiaweekny.com) on March 17 - 18th.

One of the highlights of the exhibition will be a 13th century Kamakura Period album leaf from the Haku-gire from the dispersed volumes of the anthology of Kin'yo Wakashu (Collection of Golden Leaves), from vol. VII, Koi Jo chapter attributed to the calligrapher Fujiwara no Tameie (1198-1275). The ink on paper album leaf, embellished with silver and gold flakes, is mounted as a hanging scroll (album leaf: 20 by 14 cm; overall 129 by 37.5 cm). The poem, written in the voice of a neglected lover, is elegantly dispersed on the page in a rhythm both pleasing to the ear and the eye.

Arakarishi
kazenonochiyori
taenureba
Kumodenisugaku
itoniyaaruran


You stopped visiting me
since that stormy day
Just like the spider's web
that is about to break
Is your love fragile?


Pages from the source anthology, Kin'yo Wakashu, are identified by their chapters as well as their mountings. This page is known as the Haku-gire, a reference to the cut gold flakes scattered across the paper in bands of misty clouds.

Poetry Fragment
The exhibition will also present a number of woodblock prints which feature either poetry or references poetic themes. A woodblock print by Hosoda Eishi (1756-1829) depicts two beauties, one kneeling before a vanity while holding a hand-mirror up to view her elegant coiffure from behind. This everyday concern for appearances hints at vanity, a folly of youth and an appropriate subject paired with the poem in the cartouche above.

Sekidera
Omokage no kawara d
Toshi no tsumorekashi
Tatoe Inochi ni kagiri arutomo


My face, unchanging
My, the years pile up
Like my life, my beauty
Will surely come to an end


The poem alludes to Ono no Komachi (ca. 825-900), one of the Six Immortal Poets, who was renowned for her poetry skills as much as her great beauty, and her prideful scorn towards any would-be-suitors in her youth.

Scholten Japanese Art is located at 145 West 58th Street, Suite 6D, between 6th and 7th Avenues. For the duration of the exhibition, March 15 - 24th, the gallery will have general open hours (no appointments needed), 11 - 5 pm.

We are pleased to be participating in the schedule of events organized by Asia Week New York including extended hours on Saturday, March 17th, Sunday, March 18th, 10 - 6 pm.



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