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Sumio Asayama

Noh-e Artist (Noh Painting)


Creator's Comment:

It’s been 25 years since I first began to be fascinated by the world of Noh, the oldest surviving form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed continuously since the fourteenth century. I took Noh as the main theme of my artwork, and began drawing and painting my impressions of this treasure box of Japan's culture and aesthetic sense.

Together with the closely related kyogen farce, Noh dramas evolved from various popular, folk and aristocratic art forms and were performed at temples and shrines as part of religious ceremonies. They are highly choreographed and stylized, and include poetry, chanting and slow, elegant dances accompanied by flute and drum music. The stage is almost bare, and the actors use props and wear elaborate costumes while the main character sometimes wears a Noh mask. While the plays are based on the literature and history of the Heian period and are intended to illustrate the principles of Buddhism, the songs are a blend of myths, legends and historical facts that were passed down verbally. There is much rich in emotion; delight, anger, sadness, fun; the heart that yearns for love; the wish for a peaceful world; the thanks for a bountiful harvest – themes that we all understand.

In creating Noh-e (Noh paintings), I express the art’s main scenarios in background designs while putting the ‘Shite’ (hero or heroine) at the heart of each representation. I focus on age-old themes, especially those of the skillfully constructed and drawn ‘Rin-pa’ (a school of art popular in the first half of the Edo-period), and use those nuances in representing the world of Noh-e. Or perhaps I’m creating a new style, flattering myself as a 21st century exponent of Rin-pa.

Brief Personal History:

He have attracted the attention of Japanese fans at home and abroad.

"Tamura" (his Noh-e) is dedicated to Kiyomizu Temple in 2010.
"Hanjyo" (his Noh-e) was chosen to the charity card of UNESCO associations in Japan.
Noh 2008 is recognized as a UNESCO world intangible cultural heritage.
Kyomachiya in 2006. The gallery is exhibiting the works of S. Asayama always.
Opening atelier and" Noh-e kan" (private gallery) to renovate (the old house in Kyoto).
Noh-e exhibition in various parts of Japan since 1985.
Study of G.Klimt at Vienna in 1983.
Choose the theme of creation from Noh, began drawing "Noh-e" ( picture of Noh) since 1980.
Study western classical painting techniques at Spain in 1974.
Study the basics of painting at the Academy of Fine Arts at Osaka in 1962.
Born in Kyoto.
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