We've been planning our upcoming show at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana for about a year now, and I'm so excited to say that the opening is right around the corner on April 16th! First up, we are showing the works of one of the greatest artists to ever live. And watch for the skateboards we will be selling to raise money for Japan's earthquake and tsunami relief! I will post the online link to buy the skates as soon as we get them in. In the meantime, here's a little info on this great Japanese artist.
Itō Jakuchū, a son of a rich grocer, was born in Kyōto in 1716. He lived close to the markets in the Nishiki quarter, and being financially well off, he could devote his time to painting. Jakuchū was unique to Japanese art history in that he was a very solitary figure. He differed from his contemporaries by expressing fully what he saw in the environment surrounding him, driven by a desire to represent nature and the animals he respected so dearly.
Jakuchū was a serious man, and his art reflected that side of him. The priest, Chikujo Daiten (1717-1801) wrote of him:
“Keiwa (Jakuchū) as a young man never liked studying. He had no talent in calligraphy. He was hardly versed in anything that can be called an accomplishment. All the pleasures of music and sensuous experience that an ordinary man would seek did not at all attract him. All the wealth, profit, and success that dazzle the people of this capital he totally ignored. He did not even cast one glance at them. By nature he would prefer to be alone, exhausting himself all day long in painting. Thirty years of immersion in painting was to him like one full day.”*
* Quoted from an article on Jakuchū by Yoshiaki Shimizu