The Japanese mission held a ‘Sumi-e’ art demonstration-workshop yesterday, providing foreign diplomats and Qatari dignitaries vista into the richness of traditional Japanese art.
‘Sumi-e’ is black and white abstract and figurative painting which traces its origin in Chinese Tang Dynasty and was introduced to Japan in the mid-14th century.
Seasoned ‘Sumi-e’ artist Takako Kanazawa, who mastered the art back in its country of origin, shared her decades of experience with the expressionistic art saying the secret lies in the gradation of the black paint and speed of the brush in painting.
“Varying density and speed in the process of creating ‘Sumi-e’ art communicates many concepts such as old and new, darkness and light, and strength and fragility,” Kanazawa told The Peninsula prior to her demonstration.
She said ‘Sumi-e’ generally deals with nature such as mountains, water, flowers, and trees and aims to capture the subject’s soul not simply reproduce its exact physical form.
Kanazawa was impressed of Doha’s calmness and beauty despite its fast-paced progress.
“Doha is well developed but not crowded unlike Tokyo or New York,” she said, adding the city gives artists like her creative inspiration reminiscent of images in the famous ‘Arabian Nights’ tale.
She also expressed appreciation of traditional clothes Qatari men and women wear.
Stressing the significance of traditional art to modern society, Japanese Ambassador Yukio Kitazume was optimistic the workshop would contribute to deepen understanding of the spirit of Japanese culture and tradition.
The Ambassador’s wife Hiroko Kitazume explained the history and shared some techniques in perfecting the art of ‘Sumi-e’.
The participants were also given the chance to try their talent in painting and view some ‘Sumi-e’ artworks in addition to other forms of Japanese paintings.
As part of Kanazawa’s five-day visit, she would be conducting a joint ‘Sumi-e’ workshop for Qatari and Japanese students today at the Japan School of Doha.
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