RocketNews 24 (by Kay):
This is what happens when you combine centuries-old traditional Japanese painting with modern anime, and we love it!
If you’re interested in traditional Japanese art, you may be familiar with the Rinpa school of painting, which has a history that can be traced all the way back to the 17th century. It so happens that this year marks the 400th anniversary since one of the school’s founders, Hon’ami Kōetsu, established an artistic community (geijutsumura) in the Takagamine area of Kyoto, and an exciting commemorative event titled the “Rinpa x Anime Homage Exhibit” is now going on in the very same city of Kyoto, courtesy of brilliant artwork produced by the anime/comic merchandise retailer CHARA-ANI.
But before we go on, here’s a little bit more background on Rinpa art. The Rinpa school, which has a heavy emphasis on painting but also includes other crafts such as ceramics and lacquerware as well as calligraphy, is thought to have been founded by Hon’ami Kōetsu and Tawaraya Sōtatsu around the early 17th century and later consolidated in the latter half of the century by the prominent artist brothers Ogata Kōrin and Ogata Kenzan. The name Rinpa is actually a combination of the last syllable of Kōrin’s name and the word “pa” for school.
The school’s art style is known for its bold design compositions, use of silver and gold leaf in the background, and repeated use of recognizable patterns. While natural scenes including flowers and trees are often depicted, animals and people from folktales are also common subjects, like the deities depicted in the famous ”Wind and Thunder Gods” folding screens (Fūjin Raijin-zu) by Sōtatsu.
▼ The magnificent Wind and Thunder Gods folding screen by Sōtatsu:
So, taking all of that into consideration, we think you’ll understand why we might be excited by the idea of a collaboration between anime and the Rinpa school, which has a history of producing such notable works of art. And what’s attracting particular attention in this “Rinpa x Anime Homage Exhibit” are the works featuring the long-loved characters created by the manga master Osamu Tezuka himself!
The glittering gold and silver, along with the texture of Japanese paper, have turned Tezuka’s characters into breathtaking, timeless works of art.
▼ Here’s Tezuka’s phoenix (Hi no Tori), a perfect subject for Rinpa-style art, depicted in brilliant gold.
▼ The father and son lion duo from Kimba the White Lion (Jungle Taitei) looks full of life in this piece.
In addition to the collaboration with Tezuka anime, you’ll also be able to see on display Rinpa-style art featuring the busy-as-ever Hello Kitty, as well as characters from Lucky Star (Raki☆Suta).
The best part is that you can actually order and purchase some of these illustrations at the exhibit, and they apparently have some stationery and smartphone accessories on sale as well.
The Rinpa x Anime Homage Exhibit will run at the Kyoto Loft department store in the Mina Kyoto shopping complex until January 17, 2016 (except for January 1, when Mina Kyoto will be closed). It could be a fun destination for art and anime fans who are in Kyoto for the new year!