Special Exhibition: “Aves Japonicae (4) – Reality Is in the Details”

May 1, 2018

Event Details

Event Type Exhibition
Intended for General public / Enrolled students / Applying students / International students / Alumni / Companies / Elementary school students / Junior high school students / High school students / University students
Date(s) April 24, 2018 — June 23, 2018
Location Other campuses/off-campus
Venue Intermediatheque 3F [STUDIOLO]
[Address] KITTE 2-3F, 2-7-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
[Access] JR lines and Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line Tokyo Station. Direct access from the Marunouchi Underground Pathway.
[Opening Hours] 11:00 - 18:00 (Open until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays) Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
*Opening hours may change.
[Closed on] Mondays (or the following Tuesday if Monday is a National Holiday) and Year-end holidays. May close irregularly.
Entrance Fee No charge
Registration Method No advance registration required
Contact +81 3 5777 8600 (Hello Dial)

This exhibition reconstructs how Japanese artists gazed at birds, based on the Japanese drawings produced by Kawabe Kakyo in the Meiji era.
When we think of birds in Japanese paintings, the impression left by schematic icons such as the pine tree and the crane, or the moon and the goose, is particularly vivid. Nevertheless, these artists did not draw from imaginary templates. The present scroll is a complete reference book for drawing birds, and it plays the role of a research specimen. Artists sketched by meticulously observing real birds in front of them, but resorted to reference books when that was not possible. This is how they attempted to reach a higher degree of realism.
Drawings made from dead birds need to reconstruct their lively postures. This is why rough sketches of live birds are also included in the reference book, which has the same function and content as character model sheets in present-day animation movies. In this exhibition, we focus on the artist’s obsession with describing the birds’ characteristics, color patterns, number of feathers and precise feet structure. His eyes are those of a scientist: he pays attention to every single detail. As a mark of respect for the painter’s obsessive passion for detail, we also try in this exhibition to decipher the descriptions drawn on paper.

[Organization] The University Museum, the University of Tokyo

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