Friday, July 10, 2015

Fun on a rainy day

Thursday, with a short one-day notice, my #3 daughter, Norie, set up an outing with friends to an art exhibit.

One of these friends I see rather regularly for visiting art exhibits but two others I had not seen for many years.

The group was made of pre-school teachers ... one new acquaintance and three retired teachers that I have worked with at the American School. The show was the work of two artists and a Ikebana master.
When we stepped off the elevator into the exhibition hall, my first reaction was WOW! There was so much to see ... artwork everywhere calling out for your attention.

To the right are the elevator doors and a counter with guest books to be signed.  Two of the artists were on duty and more than willing to show us around, answer questions, and engage in conversation.

The largest amount of work was by Atsushi Inada, a very versatile artist, with paintings, soft sculpture, stitchery, and a number of objects, some small that could be purchased and taken with you. It seemed his main topic was cats.

Though some were in a rather contemporary design, all were whimsical and identifiable as cats. I asked Inada-sensei if he kept cats and he said he had three.  Certainly he had captured their poses and personality in his art.

This was one of my favorites. The paint seems to be dry-brushed .

The cat looks quite contented in it's chosen pose.

This cat was all hand stitched.

He said his mother sewed kimonos and he learned to sew early in childhood.

There were a few stitched pictures  and when I went to take a picture of this one, there was a hanging cat which he moved out of the way. it was a shoulder bag and the tail was the strap. It was like many of his soft sculptures, decorated with beads and buttons and the like.

  Here is a sample of the sculpture.

Norie and I both thought of #4 daughter, Kimie's friend who holds workshops in her craft shop in Portland OR for making creative art. I once made a garden elf in one of her workshops and her stock of supplies must be quite similar to what this artist was using ... yarns and beads and a variety of felt and fabrics.

The second artist, Keisuke Kawakami exhibited a number of paintings that reminded me of fabric art.

The detail was amazing and the colors, so rich.

Here is one of Imada's soft sculpture cats guarding a three-panel work.

And a few more of his paintings.

I should have taken close-ups of the detail
but you can get the idea,

The Ikebana was everywhere. setting off the exhibition atmosphere. Tatuhiko Matsui seems to be a creative flower arranger belonging to no particular school. He began in 1985 making arrangements for the Hotel New Otani. I do remember back then admiring the large showy displays in the hotel lobby. In those days I was studying Ikebana with the Sogetsu school which also tended to be rather more creative than traditional schools.

I was amused by this tub of cut tree branches covered with lichen and moss and mushrooms yet quite attractive in design and texture.

I'm not certain how long we all stayed but it was hard to leave that amazing display.

Before leaving we had a photo op.

The cat artist is the gentleman in front and the other painter behind him. You can see ikebana mobiles swirling above our heads.

We followed this event with a lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant the cat artist showed us to.

The rain fell all day ... not too hard but persistent.

In the evening I went to choir practice, again wading my way along but it was a waste of time because the practice had been cancelled. I was not the only member who made the mistake so probably the notice had been delivered in Japanese when we were not paying attention. The Sunday bulletin claimed "music practice"and we should have taken note of the word "music" replacing "Choir" Well, isn't choir music?

Ah well,

This morning we were greeted with only clouds which soon parted to give a glimpse of the sun.

Yes, it is still out there.

We have enjoyed cool days and by now I have managed to quilt 16 of the center blocks on Ben's quilt.

The first typhoon of three ended up heading to Taiwan and it looks like the next one may be going to Shanghai. More rain is predicted here. Today was warm in the sun but with so many houses so close together, our room gets very little sun. The windows behind me face south and the time was around 5:pm but very little light makes it inside. I will keep working until it gets too hot to work. It is always nice to have a bit of stitching waiting for me while I ponder the fun of a day with friends.


  1. hopefully the rain will hold off and you can get some sun ... soon xx What a wonderful way to spend a rainy day though.. fun, friends and food xx sounds good to me xx

  2. Not sure about cats but those paintings are beautiful. Lovely to see you stitching. Hope rain clears soon.

  3. What a wonderful day you had, that exhibition looks very interesting, I love the ikebana which seems unusual to me, hanging and filling space like that, I expected it to be "controlled", maybe that is old school! How lovely to catch up with friends and make new ones too, it made up for the lack of sunshine. Have a lovely weekend my friend.

  4. What a fascinating display. This would have a wonderful collection to have viewed. Thank you for sharing your photos.
    I do hope all goes well for you with the weather. There's no predicting where these typhoons will head sometimes.

  5. What a lovely exhibit! It's nice to get out with friends.

  6. Julie, what a fun way to spend part of a rainy day. The art is fabulous, and the cats are really full of personality. The ikebana is fascinating. Congratulations on finishing 16 blocks of Ben's quilt ! You're making great progress.
    Warm regards, from Marina and Daryl