GRANT: Imayō: Japan’s New Traditionists

Imayō: Japan’s New Traditionists examines the inspirational power of historical Japanese art and craft traditions in the work of six contemporary artists, all of whom utilize their expertise in the history and technical mastery of Japan’s rich pre-twentieth century art and craft traditions. Their artworks demonstrate how cultural heritage can inspire transformational and innovative thinking, with the potential to renew and reinvigorate the familiar and the conventional. These works include specific forms of Japanese painting, wood sculpture, metal sculpture and textile art, with a deep connections to Japan’s premodern art and craft traditions, sometimes secular and sometimes religious. The exhibition both honors and transcends the confines of “tradition,” reflecting and commenting upon Japan’s own complex relationship with the past. This approach is ironically referenced in the exhibition title word Imayō, a Japanese term of ancient origin that means “in the contemporary style.”