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Participant artist Isobe Koutarou's Biotop series works

Posted by oto2 on October 23, 2016 at 10:10 AM

Participant artist Isobe Koutarou's Biotop series works. You can see one of them in our exhibition. Please contact us if you like to own your original one from Isobe Koutarou's popular series.





Our special display

Posted by oto2 on October 14, 2016 at 5:00 PM

Early Meiji period Kogin artifact: V&A Museum description: 1880-1920 This kimono is woven from the fine indigo-dyed ramie. The decorative panel was stitched in white cotton using an embroidery technique called kogin. The kimono was made in Tsugaru in Northern Japan. By the time of her wedding day, a Tsugary woman was expected to have woven and embroidered a number of such garments for herself and her husband.


Kogin-sashi display in our art space


Daiwa Foundation Event

Posted by oto2 on October 14, 2016 at 5:00 PM


Monday 10 October 2016

6:00pm – 7:00pm

Contemporary Botanical Art from Japan: Kusabana-zu


Drinks reception: 7:00pm – 8:00pm


13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle (entrance facing Regent's Park), London NW1 4QP


Organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation


Participating artist Rie Pomper-Takahashi

Posted by oto2 on August 6, 2016 at 9:40 AM

Participating artist Rie Pomper-Takahashi ( about artist )

Every medium has its own character, be it oil-based or water-based or, in the case of Japanese painting, mineral-based. Its ingredients and various painting techniques are impacted by the character of the medium.

Japanese painting (Nihonga) maintains a historic tradition of using mineral pigment (iwa e-nogu) binded by animal skin glue. This traditional organic medium has some important characteristics. The combination of the natural pigment and animal skin glue solution allows for reuse of the pigment by removing the glue solution with hot water. This can be done without changing the pigment quality or creating waste. A further characteristic is the granular nature of the natural mineral pigment which produces different tones and surfaces on the painting.

The complicated aspect of using mineral pigments lies in dealing with the behavior of material from nature. This challenge is what draws me to use Nihonga materials in my artworks.


[Clip shows Rie Pomper-Takahashi.preparing iwa-e-nogu (mineral pigments) with animal skin glue solution. Pomper-Takahsahi studied Nihonga (Japanese painting) in Japan. She also studied Western restoration and conservation at the Goethe Institute in Brewen, Austria.]




   " Morden am Zaun"  Iwa e nogu ( mineral pigment )  on canvas, Rie Pomper Takahashi 

Participant artist Mitsuki Noguchi

Posted by oto2 on July 23, 2016 at 5:15 PM

Mitsuki Noguchi ( about artist )

Mitsuki Noguchi's studio view

“Paints for Nihonga are made by grinding up rocks, minerals into a sand-like consistency. Many natural materials are used, such as Verdigris for greens and Ultramarine for blues. These are both extracted from rocks; Verdigris is from Malachite, and Ultramarine is from Azulite. The paints are made from crushing rocks, so they are quite different from paints squeezed out of a tube.

Nihonga paintings are rough to the touch, and the grains of paint have a sparkle to them, especially those with a larger grain. The beauty of these materials is directly evident in the paintings they are used in. The paints are made from semi-precious stones, so they have always had an intrinsic value. Their sandy texture means that they are simply laid down and spread on the canvas, and it is said that this has led to the planar style of representation used by many Nihonga artists. The natural colors of these rocks, minerals have been seen throughout the ages by Japanese people not as faded colors, but as representative of the beauty of nature.

These paints employ the same materials which have been used to create almost all of the pieces which are now considered national treasures or important cultural properties in Japan. Even though the way we live has changed, I use these paints to express the things that I encounter in today's modern world. The paints themselves are inconvenient. You must first learn the techniques to use them, and they take time to apply. However, I continue to employ these materials because I believe that, even for modern audiences, the sparkling beauty of these natural paints still has the power to enchant.”


Nihonga Iwa enogu (Japanese painting pigment), azurite mineral for pigment, "sanzenbon" ( deer skin glue is used as the most important binder for Japanese painting pigment)

Nihonga Iwa enogu (Japanese painting pigment)

Mitsuki Noguchi "水遊び 2 ", mineral pigments on paper


Participant artist Kotaro Isobe

Posted by oto2 on July 10, 2016 at 10:10 AM

About Kotaro Isobe

My works focus on the theme “The places where creatures dwell.”

We share the spaces in which we go about our lives with numerous small living things throughout the seasons. Like bugs that gather on flowers, or frogs and dragonflies moving about in lakes and rice paddies, there are many creatures all around us.

I use the traditional techniques of Japanese-style painting (Nihonga) to show the charm and beauty of these small creatures and plants.


Exhibition in Kanagawa Prefecture 2015

Art Festa Tokyo 2012 ( Itsuki Art Gallery stand

Work in progress

Kotaro Isobe's work on the "Art collectors' " magazine cover

Kotaro Isobe's newly published books


Kotaro Isobe's art work selected for Kamakura City Tourist Association gift design. ( Kamakura is an ancient city that developed Japanese history par with Nara and Kyoto)

Participant artist Junko Matsuda's work Kogin-sashi

Posted by oto2 on June 23, 2016 at 7:20 PM

 Kogin-sashi is a needlework craft developed during mid-Edo period (around 1700)in Japan’s northeastern Tsugaru region, present-day Aomori Prefecture. Asregional law prohibited farmers from wearing cotton clothes at that time, womenturned to hemp (cultivatable in the region’s cold climate) as an alternativemeans to fashion farming clothes. Sashiko, a dense form of stitching, was usedto reinforce the cloth and improve its heat-retaining ability. This stitching,used to form geometrical patterns on indigo-dyed hemp, is the basis of Kogin-sashi craftwork.

Embassy of Japan in the UK event calendar

Posted by oto2 on

Our exhibition on the event calendar Embassy of Japan in the UK