The Sound of One Hand Knocking: Kano Sansetsu’s Solitary Encounters
Kano Sansetsu, A Visit to Li Ning’s Secluded Dwelling and Wang Ziyou Visiting Dai Andao (detail), Japanese, Edo period, mid-17th century. Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink and gold on paper. Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg, TL41799.12.
Time & LocationApril 14, 7pm EDT
In conjunction with Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection, the Harvard Art Museums will present a series of virtual conversations exploring themes and highlights of the exhibition.
If hearts are in harmony, do we have to travel for a meeting of minds to take place? Matthew McKelway retraces the paths of two such “meetings,” legendary for never having taking place, but depicted, nevertheless, by Kano Sansetsu (1590–1651) on a pair of folding screens. Thanks to McKelway’s research, the screens are now titled A Visit to Li Ning’s Secluded Dwelling and Wang Ziyou Visiting Dai Andao.
Sansetsu, head of the Kano school of painters in 17th-century Kyoto, is remembered for his boldly individualistic pictorial style and mastery of an immense range of subjects based on close study of history and classical literature. These remarkable screens embody Sansetsu’s peculiar visual and thematic inclinations. Why did Sansetsu choose to celebrate these episodes of reclusive eccentricity? What led him to pair these two stories? And why should such a work have been created in the old imperial capital of Kyoto during the early years of the new Tokugawa shogunal regime, headquartered in the burgeoning eastern city of Edo?
Professor McKelway’s presentation will be followed by a response from Professor Yukio Lippit, co-curator of the Painting Edo exhibition, and a moderated conversation with curator Rachel Saunders.
Visit the Harvard Art Museums website to learn more and register.
The exhibition, Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection, is supported through the Exhibitions Abroad Support Program.