Hiroshi Senju: What Is Art? What Is Beauty?
Evening presentation by Hiroshi Senju, artist
Drinks reception: 6:30 pm
Discussion: 7:00 pm
Close: 8:00 pm
Hiroshi Senju, one of Japan’s most celebrated contemporary painters, will talk about his art practice, his pursuit of beauty in his monumental landscape images and the place and purpose of art in our increasingly chaotic and artificial age. Senju was born in Japan in 1958 and lives and works in New York. He seamlessly combines a minimalist visual language rooted in abstract expressionism with ancient painting techniques unique to Japan. Widely recognized as one of the few contemporary masters of the thousand-year-old Nihonga style of painting, he uses mineral pigments made from ground stone, shells, corals, binding them with animal-hide glue. His arresting images of cascading waterfalls and jagged cliffs hover between figuration and abstraction, evoking the forces of nature.
Senju was the first Asian artist to receive an Honorable Mention Award at the Venice Biennale (1995) and has participated in exhibitions around the world, including The Beauty Project at the London Museum of Contemporary Art in 1996; The New Way of Tea, curated by Alexandra Munroe, at the Japan Society and Asia Society in New York in 2002; and Paintings on Fusuma at the Tokyo National Museum in 2003. Also in 2003, Senju completed 77 murals at the Annex of Daitokuji-Jyukoin, a prominent Zen Buddhist temple in Japan. In 2004, he was the art director for the new Haneda Airport Terminal in Tokyo, where he completed one of his largest installations. The Benesse Art Site of Naoshima Island, designed by Tadao Ando, also houses two of his large-scale installations.
His most recent public installation is a waterfall in the OUB Centre in Singapore. His works are in permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, Toyama, Japan; Yamatane Museum of Art in Tokyo; the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music; and the Kushiro Art Museum, Hokkaido, Japan. The Hiroshi Senju Museum, designed by Ryue Nishizawa, opened in October 2011 in Karuizawa, Japan.