is a saying "The most national thing can be
the most international." Applied to culture,
especially in the field of art, these might be words
of deep meaning. The scent, color, form and spirit
the country inevitably brews create a certain clear
and definite world; we should be aware that that
particular world will have spiritual links with
the world at large. It is the same in music, painting
and literature. Some may fret over the folding screen
paintings by Mr.Sakagami, who was born after the
war, saying, "Why this kind of old-fashioned
thing in the present-day... " In that case,
what on earth is newness ? People who criticize
classics that have endured throughout history as
old-fashioned may choose some form of "newness"
to take up, but in some part of their heart they
must know that they are only small clever persons
dancing in the confines of an epoch. They come to
an impasse, and unwittingly pass off a counterfeit
as the genuine article.Those kinds of examples are
too many to count. The present age is an age in
which counterfeits are driving away genuine articles.
I think that this wrong notion of "newness"
is stagnating and weakening all kinds of fine arts.
There isn't any "newness". There is only
the good or the bad.
Mr.Hideo Kobayashi says in
What endurance is, "Only the things
which reject interpretation and don't change are
beautiful. This is the strongest thought Norinaga
had. This thought must be a well-kept secret in
our present age, flooded with interpretations."
What wise words these are. What powerfully attracts
people is beautiful. And that is what is always
"new". When the young Mr.Sakagami uses
classic methods, and paints sometimes in painstaking
detail, sometimes in elegant simplicity---the "Picture
of an Autumn Breeze under the Moon", "Picture
of Cherry Blossoms in Spring" and "Picture
of Time from Spring to Autumn"---his sensitivity
lies hidden beneath the classic Japanese methods.
When people who have not yet encountered his sensitivity
become intoxicated by its power, the art of Sakagami
Nansei will show us what real "newness"
Utsuwa" was reprinted from Kodansha publisher.