Ukiyo-e:

Floating Fleeting Worlds

9.28.2019—11.3.2019​​​

 Dragon and Tiger

Silver inlaid in Etched Resin

Handmade 16” X 12” 

Flute Player  (detail)

Ink Woodblock Print

on Mulberry Paper

Framed under glass

at 24” X 18 ½”

Asian Flutist
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Bird in Snow byJames Bunnel

Bird in Snow by River

by James Bunnell

Original, Hand painted in Oils

Silk Serigraph Signed

Framed at 34 ½” X 15”

Ukiyo-e is a Japanese term which means “Floating Fleeting World in Pictures”.   In our Fall 2019 exhibit we bring you Ukiyo-e art and ukiyo-e inspired art.

Ukiyo-e inspired the creation of Impressionism and Manga art.  Vincent Van Gogh was a wide collector of Ukioy-e prints and stated in many letters that he could not have been an aritst without ukiyo-e having come first.  

​Ukiyo-e was an art genre created during the Japanese Edo period (1650—1850) when the islands were isolated from the rest of the world. For the first time in Japanese history, a rising class of city dwellers had the financial means to support an art of their own - an art which reflected their interests and tastes.  A completely different style of art surfaced and became the inspiration for Impressionism, Abstraction, Superflat and Manga comic book art. 

 

Birds in Snow by James Bunnell

Birds in Snow by River

by James Bunnell

Original, Hand painted in Oils

Silk Serigraph Signed

Framed at 34 ½” X 15”

There are some wonderful woodblock prints and engraved and embossed pieces all exhibiting that uplifting vertical style of Ukiyo-e.  Most Western Art is expansive and horizontal.  Asian art has always been more vertical and the Ukioy-e style uses verticality to create an upward motion when viewing the art.

 

The three scenes to the right are embossed, engraved and inlaid with 3 different metals to create a shimmering view of a waterfall with house, a rose and a Sensoji Monastery.  Framed with black velvet behind them in simple wooden frames these pieces are dramatic and quiet at the same time.  These three pieces are like a window into another culture, another way of seeing and another sense of time which can inspire us today in how we look at things, in how we decorate and how we understand the times we live in.

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Three Japanese Scenes

Engraving and Embossing on Silver

Each Framed at 18” X 4 ½"

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This charming oil painting of a Geisha is the other side of the Ukiyo-e art style.  Not only did artists portray the natural world but they also depicted famous actors and actresses and other performers that could be seen in the city of Edo (modern day Tokyo)  The Kabuki theater was very popular and the players became celebrities with people buying their likenesses to display in their homes.  

This other side of the Ukioy-e style also represents the other side of what Ukioy-e meant during this time period.  The floating, fleeting world they referenced here was the one of life and its pleasures.  Knowing that any given pleasure could be fleeting people flocked to city centers to enjoy themselves and enjoy the floating momentum of pleasure even in the simple pleasures of looking at cherry tree blossoms or sitting by a lake.

Geisha

Original Oil Painting on Board

Framed at 13” X 11”

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The Ukiyo-e art style was inspired by Buddism and so there will be some Buddhist pieces on view as well.  The Diamond Sutra explained by Buddha is actually where the Ukiyo-e term came from:

 

The Diamond Sutra (Vajra Prajna Parmita Sutra) (The Diamond That Cuts Through Illusion)

 

This is how to contemplate our conditioned existence in this fleeting world:

“Like a tiny drop of dew, or a bubble floating in a stream;

like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud,

or a flickering lamp, an illusion, a phantom, or a dream. 

So is all conditioned existence to be seen.”

 

 

So everything we experience shows us that it is fleeting, the entire world we inhabit is fleeting and the examples Buddha chooses to emphasis this are examples that embody a floating existence.

 

Stop in to enjoy this wonderful exhibit with woodblock prints, metal engravings and embossing, photographs and original paintings showing the “floating, fleeting worlds in pictures”.  It is fleeting and ends around November 3.

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Hope. Michael Milewski

Blue Waterfall

Ink, Watercolor on Paper

3 piece artwork, signed

Side sections framed at 28” X 11”

Middle section framed at 28” X 22”

Shown is the right side section

Blue Waterfall

Ink, Watercolor on Paper

3 piece artwork, signed

Side sections framed at 28” X 11”

Middle section framed at 28” X 22”

Shown is the right side section

Hope (2019)

by Michael Milewski (after Banksy)

Oil Painting on Canvas

All Artwork shown available to add value to your home or business.  Website updated to show current available pieces.