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Rimpa Art: Literary Inspiration for design Meri Arichi Tuesday 11 June 2019

Rimpa Art: Literary inspiration for designMeri Arichi

With the establishment of military government in Edo (present day Tokyo) in the early 17th century, Japan enjoyed a long period of peace and prosperity. Artists in Kyoto flourished with a new vigour to satisfy the demand of the newly affluent townspeople. The Rimpa artists were unique in the way that they were not tied with a teacher-pupil relationship, but they shared the style and the visual language that were inspired by the courtly literary themes from the past. The distinctive style of Rimpa Art, most prominently displayed in the works by Ogata  Korin (1658 – 1716), is characterized by the abstraction of natural elements and the bold asymmetrical composition. The Rimpa style is considered by some as “the most quintessentially Japanese” art. This lecture will analyse the masterpieces by the Rimpa artists, and discuss what makes them “Japanese”.

Dr Meri Arichi studied Art History in London and Florence, and worked at Christie’s in Kings Street, London, from 1989 to 1993. She returned to university to study Asian Art at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in 1993, and completed a Post-graduate Diploma in Asian Art (1994), MA (1996) in History of East Asian Art, and PhD (2003) for her thesis on Shinto-Buddhist syncretic Art. She has been teaching History of Japanese Art in the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS as a Teaching Fellow since 2007. She has also run courses at the Birkbeck College, V&A, British Museum, and the Courtauld Institute of Art Summer School. She has led tours to Japan and lectured on cruises.