20 May 2021

Mt. Fuji by Tokuoka Shinsen on a bed of fog

Mt Fuji, by Tokuoka Shinsen, 1963

Here is a remarkable image which I saw in Japan a few years ago. I bought a postcard of it and it has been on a wall in my kitchen ever since.

What I appreciate about it is the tremendous simplicity by which it was conceived, an idea that has been presented to us with a minimalism of both style and form. It is a portrait of Mount Fuji, solid and sober, sitting on a bed of fog. Fujiyama, as it is known in Japan, also sits back into the painting by an uncanny display of discreet virtuosity. The foreground is the natural colour of the paper, and by leaving it at the base of the painting the artist solves the complex problem of distance in a picture with the ease of a gentle mist.

I really love this image as much today as when I first saw it in Japan. It has shaped something inside my unconscious but I haven't yet understand it completely. 

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