Shrine of the Water God (Suijingū)

Hiroshi Senju Japanese

Not on view

Hiroshi Senju’s waterfall paintings—almost abstract but still creating the impression of water in motion—have become his signature pieces. Each is a unique evocation of an encounter with nature. The artist sees himself as working in the legacy of Nihonga painters who, beginning in the late nineteenth century, used pigments, materials, and formats associated with traditional Japanese painting to create modern effects.

He has remarked on his creative process: “When I paint . . . I begin by listening carefully. I am trying to discover which way the waterfall wants to flow, what form it is trying to take. I spend time engaged in this silent dialogue, looking at the washi paper before me without painting at all. . . . As I paint, the image in my mind gives way to the real waterfall I am painting, which is now so much stronger that at times the original image slips away.”

Shrine of the Water God (Suijingū), Hiroshi Senju (Japanese, born 1958), Pair of six-panel folding screens; natural pigments on Japanese mulberry paper, Japan

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