As the spring blossoms, we are pleased to announce Zen Room, a project designed to host and explore the works of international artists of the past, present and future.
Zen Room is a contempoary zen garden, created in line with the philosophy of the gallery, always endeavouring to discover new ways to experience and reconsider the universal aesthetics of its artists. Zen Room is an exhibition, futhermore a space for cultural infusion, meditation and gathering.
This exhibition features part of a vast collection of Japanese albumen prints coloured by hand as they come from a time when color printing still did not exist. The exhibition was made possible following two trails. The first is one directly into the heart of the Meiji era (1862-1912), on the trails of the first travellers who found themselves in front of the wonders of an ancient civilisation, which remained for a long time almost inaccessible. It is the period of the Yokohama School which aims to unite photography, the most avant-garde artistic form of that time, with the tradition of Japanese graphics.
The second was journey on the trail to discover where these works lay and find them in order to bring this collection together. An endless and passionate inquiry across the most unheralded and concealed locations, collections and antique storages from Tokyo through New York, Copenhagen, Paris and more. The theme of the exhibition moves around the idea of the woman, as it was formed in the European image of the nineteenth century: sublime beauty without age, true and real icons of an idealized model of female Asian beauty, in which the eye of the photographer seems to be searching for the secret which animates the fluctuating ”kingdom of the gheisa”.
Amongst the works shown those of Kusakabe Kimbei stand out, an artist who began his career as a colourist photographer and as an assistant to the great photographers Felice Beato and Baron Raimund von Stillfried, before opening his studio in Yokohama.Most of these works feature in the “Japanese Dreams” published by Alinari, one of the world’s oldest photographic publishers, founded in Florence, Italy in 1852. Its archives contain 5.5 million photographs, ranging from daguerreotypes to modern digital photos from around the world.