Art of Japan: Nature in stunning simplicity

Art of Japan: Nature in stunning simplicity

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Sakai Hōitsu (1761-1829) created a delightful triptych that is referred by the title Snow, the Moon, and Cherry Blossoms. Interestingly, Hōitsu completed the three motifs when he was 60 years old.

The reason why this is fascinating is that Hōitsu was in the latter stages of his life. Hence, by this time, he was now a Buddhist monk. Therefore, you can easily imagine the connections and timing of this adorable piece of art.

Thus it feels like Hōitsu is not only re-engaging with the seasonal dynamics of Japan; but with the passing years of his life, he now appreciates even more. Simply put, just like the passages of the Buddha that Hōitsu is studying with greater intensity, this same intensity can be felt in this exquisite art piece.

It is also noticeable that the juxtaposition contrasts elegantly and is based on sophistication. Hence, the winter season is at the top based on pine trees with snow on the top and some falling off. Meanwhile, in the middle is an intricate moon partly engulfed by clouds. While finally, the cherry blossoms are at the bottom on the left-hand side.

The outcome is the changing seasons done exquisitely and minimal. However, the effect is amazing because of the connection and the thought behind this adorable art.


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