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Awesome masterworks from Japan

By Wang Jie (Shanghai Daily)

14:23, November 20, 2011

The finest Japanese arts of brocade, art glass, painting and woodblock printing (ukiyo-e) are on display through November 28 at the No. 1 Shanghai Art Museum.

The 91 art pieces are a rare collection that brings together superb works across genres. The exhibition is part of the 13th Shanghai International Arts Festival.

The roots of many Japanese arts can be traced back to China but they reflect different and distinctly refined Japanese aesthetics.

The highlight of the exhibition is the famous brocade "Flowing Design of Soutatsu" that decorates a folding screen and has awed viewers.

It was created by Soutatsu Tawaraya, founder of the Rimpa school who made abundant use of pure gold and platinum threads. It is a masterpiece of Nishijin Ori brocade work that dates back 1,200 years.

Another powerful modern Nishijin brocade is "Sun and Moon Landscapes/Waves at Mathsushinma." The large-scale work uses gold, platinum and a rare phosphorescent yarn and the scene changes from day to night.

Works of contemporary glass art master Yoshinori Masuda are also exhibited. Masuda, who died last year, vastly expanded the possibilities of glass art, representing an Oriental ink stone in ways never before imagined.

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