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若冲散歩 ‘Jakuchu’ Stroll

English follows Japanese

 

十年来、大ブームの江戸時代の天才絵師、伊藤若冲。生まれ育った京都の台所「錦市場」を散歩した。

 

日没過ぎの錦市場。390メートル続くアーケードは、若冲一色。この市場のどのあたりに、若冲が若旦那として切り盛りした青物問屋があったのだろう。

 

家業を継いだのは23歳。そして40歳の時、弟に店を譲り、絵に専念した。各店の閉まったシャッターに、若冲の有名な絵が印刷されている。

 

この青い絵のホンモノは、『鳥獣花木図屏風』。アメリカの大コレクター、エツコ&ジョー・プライス夫妻のもとにある。ジョー・プライス氏は、若い頃、若冲が初期に描いた葡萄の水墨画に出会った。この青い屏風は、2006年、東京国立博物館ほかで行われた「プライスコレクション 若冲と江戸絵画展」にも海を渡って出展された。

 

私はこの展覧会に仕事で関わり、それが若冲との衝撃の出会いだった。この屏風は、18世紀の同時代に類を見ない、不思議な表現技法が特徴だ。画面全体が、1センチ角の枡目にわけられて、色が塗られている。まるで、モザイクタイルの壁や、デジタル画のよう… 桝目描き(ますめがき)と呼ばれている。

 

若冲はこのアイディアをどこで思いついたのだろう。織物を作るときの図案とも、朝鮮半島の工芸品「紙織画」とも言われている。美的センスがずば抜けていた若冲。どのような着物をまとい、どのような工芸品に囲まれて生活していたのか。そしてどんな気分で、この市場を闊歩していたのだろうか。

 

Itō Jakuchū, one of the greatest art masters of the Edo period, became a boom since a decade ago.

 

I strolled in the Nishiki Ichiba Market, known as the kitchen of Kyoto, where he was born and raised. Nishiki Ichiba, beyond sunset. The arcade is 390 meters long and is entirely filled with jakuchu’s paintings. Where, in this market, did the wholesale greengrocer which Jakuchū ran as its young head exist? 

 

He took charge of his family business at the age of 23.He gave the greengrocer to his younger brother when he was 40 in order to dedicate himself to painting. Some shops already closed their shutters, on which Jakuchū’s famous works were printed. The original copy of this painting is called “Chōjū Kaboku-zu Byōbu” which literally means the folding screen with the painting of beasts, birds, flowers and trees.

 

The great American art collector couple, Etsuko and Joe Price own the original. When he was young, Mr. Joe Price, encountered Jakuchū’s early work of grapes. In 2006, the Chōjū Kaboku-zu Byōbu arrived from the USA and was featured at the famous art exhibit titled, “The Price Collection JAKUCHU and the age of imagination”, held at the Tokyo National Museum.

 

I worked for this exhibition, and for me, that was an astonishing encounter with this great master. The folding screen has a wizardly expressive technique which would have been quite unique during the 18th century. The whole screen was divided into 1 cm square, and colored.It looks like a mosaic-tiled wall or a digital image…and is called ‘Masume-gaki (Cell Painting)’

 

Where did Jakuchū take the idea from? Scholars say it could be from a pattern of fabric, or a kind of a traditional Korean craft known as a paper-weaving picture.Jakuchū, a man with a remarkable sense of beauty. How he dressed, and what kind of arts and crafts did he use?And how enjoyed strolling in the market.

 

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