ARTS: Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival (Japanese)

Hosted on April 25-26, 2015 in Cupertino, CA

The 32nd annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival was hosted this past weekend to celebrate the long-standing friendship with Cupertino’s sister city, Toyokawa, Japan and the Japanese culture. The festival had many cultural displays of the fine, classical arts and live entertainment in the outdoor amphitheater.

Of the cultural displays, visitors have ample opportunity to peruse the many outstanding collections of embroidery, origami, calligraphy, bonsai, ikebana, and kimekomi dolls.

Origami dragon

Origami dragon

Origami (the art of paper folding) dates from the Edo period (1603–1868). It was used for both ceremonial and recreational purposes. In 1797, the first book of written instructions for origami was called Sembazuru Orikata (or “thousand crane folding) by Akisato Rito. The book was an inspiration for Sadako Sasaki from the 1950s who folded 1,000 cranes for world peace.

Bonsai

Bonsai

Bonsai (the art of minature trees and plants) originated from China but is a major aspect of Japanese culture.

Birds of paradise arrangement (ikebana)

Birds of paradise arrangement (ikebana)

The art of ikebana (flower arrangement) has over 500 years of history behind it. Similar to much of Japanese culture, ikebana emphasizes nature and the ability to express beauty and human emotion in a single piece. Often times, it is “like a poem or painting made of flowers” (Ikenobo Ikebana Society).

Tale of Genji dolls (kimekomi dolls)

Tale of Genji dolls (kimekomi dolls)

The kimekomi doll-making technique was created during the Genbun period (1736-1741) in Kyoto at the Kami-Kamo Shrine by Tadashige Takahash. He carved the figures from willow wood and clothed the dolls with leftover fabric from the robes of the Shinto priests. His technique would be passed onto the future generations and further perfected by Mataro Kanabayashi I, whose technique is used today (Mataro doll craft). Continue reading

ARTS: Tracing the Past, Drawing the Future: Master Ink Painters of 20th Century China

Exhibition ran from February 17 to July 4, 2010

The Cantor Arts Center in Stanford University hosted on March 7, 2010 an exhibition on the traditional Chinese ink paintings by the “Four Great Masters of Ink Painting” of the 20th century: Wu Changshuo (1844-1927), Qi Baishi (1864-1957), Huang Binhong (1865-1955), and Pan Tianshou (1897-1971). This exhibit’s selection shows how Western influence and China’s political turbulence in early 20th century affected artists’ expression since the end of the Qing dynasty in 1911.

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