Talk: Yohaku no bi: Takesada Matsutani and the Art of the Unseen
On the occasion of the exhibition ‘Takesada Matsutani. Yohaku’ we are delighted to welcome Prof. Dr. Hans Bjarne Thomsen, Professor and Chair for East Asian Art History, Zurich University, to give a lecture on the aesthetic principle of yohaku no bi.
The beauty of space left empty in works of art, is called yohaku no bi in Japanese. This is a concept borrowed from Chinese landscape ink paintings, where clouds, mist, sky, and water would often be left unpainted. The empty space spark the imagination of the viewer, challenging them to imagine the unseen. This sense of working with the seen and unseen is at the center of much of Takesada Matsutani’s oeuvre, especially in his experiments with ink. The lecturer will explain the historical background of this concept and tie it to the innovative ideas of this contemporary master.