This year (as every year) I attended the annual Godai Art University Graduation show at the National Art Center in Tokyo’s Roppongi district. It was full of good stuff as usual and a real treat: nowhere can you get so much contemporary Japanese art as in this exhibition, for such little cost (it is free). I particularly enjoyed one sculpture, “Inisible” by Hifumi Sugata of Joshibi, a sinister looking metal sculpture. This year’s exhibition is over but there is a new on in February – early March next year! Be sure to see it!
Here’s a pair of very cute statues of komainu, that you might remember from one of my posts earlier this week, by young artist Yukari Kondo (近藤ゆかり) at Japan Women’s Art University, Joshibi. The title of her work is Aun (阿吽) which is the Japanese way of writing the classical mystic syllable “om” famous from eastern mysticism everywhere! The lion on the right, with the open mouth is said to be forming the “a” of the aun, and the left lion’s closed mouth forms the word “un”. The “a” is the first letter in ancient sanskrit script and “un” is the last, therefore encompassing the whole of existance. In western terms, the phrase “alpha and omega” is familiar to most people (and also being the first and last letters in classical Greek). So there you go, religion, mysticism and art all in one post. I really hope a temple sees her work and exhibit it!