Macke and I went to the Met yesterday and beelined for the Japanese Art exhibitions. We wanted to see the old works and some new to inspire us for our upcoming trip in March. After viewing the ink drawings and kimono embroidery, we ended up in Astor Court, a beautiful skylit atrium built in the Chinese exhibition area.
It was a good way to feel inspired. After seeing Tosa Mitsuyoshi's pictorial representation of the famous Tale of Genji, I now want to just paint trees. Trees that mainly look like they grow sideways and drip petals.
I am always amazed at how Eastern Art is often coasted over in American art and history studies. The extensive study of Chinese or Japanese art isn't offered in general public education. It might only last a few classes before the focus returns to Western art. Growing up I often wondered why this was. Asian art is so beautiful and intricate and influenced so much of the Western world's cultural artifacts. Once, in college, one of my art professors blatantly told the class how "all of this stuff (referring to Eastern Asian art) looks the same". And we only spent 2 days on it. Can you believe it! I was quietly offended. My classmates didn't seem to mind, but perhaps that is because the standardized education system doesn't equalize the representation. I feel like I now want to incorporate more of these styles into my own future art.
We shall see!