Tascho Chic at Teien Art Gallery in Meguro

June 24, 2007

Time to get cultural. The weather was bad (for the first time since we arrived) and I hadn’t visited any museums yet, so today I headed for the Teien art museum. My Lonely Planet guidebook said the building was more of an attraction than the art, with fantastic art deco details. The building is lovely but I was also blessed with a very special exhibit.

I’ve included a photo below of the garden and the signature piece exhibited at the show. This “ink and colour on silk” was painted in the 30s, as were most pieces in the show. The style is radically different to what was being painted in the west at the time. The flowers on the sofa behind her are so intricate and perfect. Her face has barely any detail, but is perfectly outlined. In fact, many of the women in the paintings to me looked plastic – such expressionless and featureless faces with such intricate detailing of the kimonos and furniture. The description of the exhibit claimed that you could see the face of modernity on the women, as Japan was going through a rapid period of modernisation. I saw no such evidence! The women may have been holding cameras or exiting cars, but they look like dolls.

The feeling these pieces stirred in me was awe for the beauty of the objects.

One wood block in particular caught my eye – it was called “Shadow of the White Heron”, I believe. White herons were mentioned in several pieces and throughout Japanese art and architecture. I am trying to find the significance. If you know, please share. Otherwise, I’ll report back soon.

Taicho ChicTeien Garden

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One Response to “Tascho Chic at Teien Art Gallery in Meguro”


  1. Sounds great – I love Art Deco and Japanese design, so the exhibition sounds like heaven to me.


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