Sunday, November 9, 2003

On View In The Islands

Byobu: The Art of Folding Screens

Japanese screens, which were used in everyday life in Japan for centuries, were not simply utilitarian items, but objects of aesthetic appreciation that symbolized power and wealth. The vast canvas of the screens challenged artists' abilities to create large-scale works that decorated castles, palaces and temples.

In "Masterpieces of Japanese Screen Painting," author Miyeko Murase says the folding screen, or byobu, one of three types of Japanese screens, originated in China. Byobu were used as both dividers of interior space and enclosures for the outdoors.

Robyn Buntin Galleries is exhibiting more than 20 byobu through Nov. 29 in two galleries. The screens range in age from 18th century to the present. The exhibit displays examples of different styles of byobu, including gold leaf, silver leaf, black and white sumi-e and "phoenix view" (bird's eye view scenes).

Robyn Buntin Galleries, located at 820 S. Beretania St. (Robyn Buntin's Oceania Gallery) and 848 S. Beretania St. (Robyn Buntin of Honolulu), are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays. Call 523-5913 for more information.

Mayumi Oda's contemporary byobu, "Deep Sea," contrasts...

art brushwork painting by Kano Yasunobu.

"Village Women" is a two-paneled brush-and-ink and watercolor byobu on display at Robyn Buntin Galleries through Nov. 29.

"Winter Cranes" is a work of ink and mineral pigments on paper that also employs gold leaf. The painting uses a New Year's motif; cranes symbolize new life in Japanese culture.


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