Japan Nakasendo Way

Yes! Beginning a new series.. a new country, a new journey, a new revelation.. a place where the culture and colours are the diametric opposite of vibrant Korea that I last painted.. a place that is uniquely. and sedately. zen.  

This, my second visit to Japan after more than a decade, is when I came to understand and appreciate what I did not so many years ago, when I had been literally lost in the translation whilst backpacking in Hokkaido ;p 

Hiking the Nakasendo Way (中山道) this time round, a 17th c highway from Kyoto to Edo (ancient Tokyo), I had a beautiful sojourn meandering the land encountering ancient post-towns, inns, teahouses, distance markers in li (里), shinto shrines, deities for protection of travellers, and many a poignant tale of the 劳师动众 (labourious) Princess entourage that travelled to marry the Shogun. Having come full circle on this land, I finally came to love it at last.  Of course, having an English-speaking Japanese guide helps immensely :)  Thanks! Mario Anton of WalkJapan.

So I came home armed with a thousand photos, and even more wonderful memories, and started to paint. I wasn't quite sure if I can do sedate, but zen, maybe. These 3 paintings are a start. Make what you will of them. They are nuggets, stories  from the Nakasendo. And really, we did meet a lovely wedding couple. I knew then that I would paint the bride's stunning kimono gown :) Enjoy the pieces! 

Title: Kyoto Dream 京都梦 (O105) 
Description: Poignant impressionistic painting of a Japanese lady in pink kimono at the Kyoto Kiyomizu-dera Temple (清水寺), in dramatic yellow red surreal hues. Nakasendo Way 2014.
Medium: Oil on Ready-to-Hang Canvas. 
Dimensions: 61 x 61cm.

Title: The Path 悟之路 (O106) 
Description: Whimsical surreal painting in grey monastic tones, inspired by the red lamppost lit stone path, up to the Kumanokōtai Shr ine (熊野皇大神社) in Japan's Nagano Prefecture (长野县). Nakasendo Way 2014.
Medium: Oil on Ready-to-Hang Canvas. Dimensions: 61 x 61cm. 

Title: Japanese Wedding Couple 日本婚礼 (O104) 
Description: Portrait painting of a young Japanese couple in traditional wedding wafuku (和服), with the bride in a resplendent red phoenix kimono, accompanied by a whimsical backdrop of purple umbrellas and Japanese lanterns. Nakasendo Way 2014.
Medium: Oil on Ready-to-Hang Canvas. 
Dimensions: 76 x 76cm. 

Purchase at: www.saatchiart.com/yen

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